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At lunch today, I wandered over to our local market (conveniently only one block away from the courthouse) that has farmer stands, food stands, and assortment of other booths. As I perused my lunch choices, I decided to go around the corner to a local restaurant instead. I walked outside just as a couple were getting out of their little red sports car. Left inside the car, a small white fluffy dog that bounced all about.

Did I mention it was well up into the 90s today?

Yep, these folks left that poor little dog in the car with only the windows cracked about 2″. I waited a few minutes to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they were just running into a store and back out. So I continued onto the restaurant, about 5 minutes away.

I ordered a slice of pizza, ate it, and then returned. Total time gone, at least 20 minutes. (Dumb me forgot to check the time when I walked away.) But still sitting in the exact same place, the red car and the little white dog.

Oh wait, they *did* park in the shade. As if that makes much of a difference on a day when the temperature is 90+°. On an 85° day, it only takes ten minutes for the inside of a car to reach 102°, even when the windows are cracked. Thirty minutes, and your car is a steamy 120°. And parking the shade really does N-O-T-H-I-N-G to protect your pet from heat stroke. Here’s a quick idea:

I walked inside the Sunrise Soap Company and asked the clerk for a piece of paper, explaining why I needed it. She gave me a nice, big sheet of paper, where, in orange marker, I wrote:

Even in shade, your car can reach temps of 120. Please leave your dog home on hot days.

I proceeded to leave said sign on their windshield. Hopefully, the owners will take heed and feel bad about leaving their pooch. And maybe even other bystanders will read the sign (as it was hard to miss) and take heart. Because I had to go back to work, the clerk at Sunrise said she’d watch out for them and even call the cops if they didn’t return in a few more minutes. I probably should’ve called the cops myself or better yet, I should have run them down when I saw them the first time. [sigh] Hindsight is 20-20. Hopefully someone else gave them an earful.

So, I implore everyone to be responsible pet owners. You’d never consider leaving a child or an elderly person in a car on a hot day, so why in the world would you leave your dog? Please share with all pet owners.

I’m printing these out on card stock, and next time, I leave this notice:

And that is why I will now be packing a brick in my purse.

For more information on heat stroke/hot cars, check out the following: