Hot Cars - Animal Law Source

Hot Cars

Hot Cars

Animals Left in Hot Vehicles

Hot car

  • Doing this can result in the animal’s death even after only a few minutes, and those who survive can still have permanent physical issues
  • If it is 85°F outside, the temperature inside a car with the windows slightly open can reach 102°F in ten minutes
  • Animals being transported in hot vehicles
    • Includes farm and livestock animals, horses, research animals, auction animals, circus and rodeo animals
    • Have some federal protections but charges under state law can still be brought if one dies due to heat or cold conditions.
  • Check your local ordinance for the law in your jurisdiction: Municode
  • Consider charge of misdemeanor neglect for failure to provide proper ventilation
  • Prosecutors should focus on prevention
    • Work in concert with animal care and control and law enforcement to stage public service campaigns in order to warn of the danger and criminal penalties.
  • These cases present special challenges for prosecutors
    • The owner may have simply been unaware of how quickly a vehicle can become dangerously hot
    • The owner may be remorseful, lacked any intent to bring about harm to the animal and can make for a sympathetic defendant
  • Signs of heat stroke include, but are not limited to:
    • A body temperature of 104-110 Fahrenheit
    • Fever
    • Glazed eyes
    • Apparent dizziness or lack of coordination
    • Rapid heartbeat
    • Profuse salivation
    • Restlessness
    • Vomiting
    • Excessive thirst
    • Deep red or purple tongue and gums
    • Sticky or dry tongue and gums
    • Lethargy
    • Unconsciousness
    • Excessive panting
    • Staggering
    • Stupor
    • Seizures
    • Bloody diarrhea or vomiting
    • Coma
    • Death

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