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For Immediate Release: 06/15/07

Reminder: As the weather heats up, leave pets home, not in cars!

Sacramento, CA — The Animal Protection Institute (API), a national non-profit animal welfare group, today reminds Sacramento residents about the dangers of leaving animals in cars during warm weather.

Every year, dogs die after being locked inside cars while their guardians leave them, often for “just a few minutes.” These tragedies occur with alarming frequency, yet the animals’ deaths are completely preventable. Throughout the summer, news media reports alert us to these few instances, which are but a fraction of the many unreported deaths of dogs left to perish in parked cars. A lucky few survive.

“It’s important that people be made aware of the dangers of leaving companion animals inside hot cars,” says API’s Director of Legal and Government Affairs, Nicole Paquette. “People mean well by taking their dog or other animal along with them while they work, get coffee, shop, or run errands, but warm weather can literally turn a car into a death trap.”

A 2007 study by San Francisco State found temperatures inside a car, with windows cracked, can rise almost 20 degrees in 10 minutes, 35 degrees in 30 minutes and up to 50 degrees in an hour. Hundreds of beloved canine companions are unintentionally killed or injured each year by being left in hot cars, even with windows cracked and only for a short time.

The lifesaving website www.MyDogIsCool.com is a free, friendly resource to help spread the word about the dangers of hot cars. Resources include downloadable posters and “It’s hot!” flyers that can be used when a dog is left in a hot car, and an “Is it Too Hot?” weather forecasting tool that allows you to just enter your zip code or city and see if it’s too hot to take your pal along in the car. The MyDogIsCool.com site provides everything you need to know to keep dogs safe and happy during hot weather.

API’s national initiative is backed by the automaker Nissan USA and the Better World Club (BWC) car club, companies that care for animals who accompany their drivers. API encourages other like-minded companies to help spread this life-saving message.

On January 1, 2007, API-sponsored legislation went into effect in California, making it unlawful to leave a companion animal unattended in a motor vehicle under conditions that could endanger the animal’s health.

The Animal Protection Institute is a national non-profit animal advocacy organization working to end animal cruelty and exploitation through legislation, litigation and public education. For more information, visit www.api4animals.org.

Hi-res images are available for download from www.MyDogIsCool.com or by emailing press@api4animals.org.

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Contact:
Zibby Wilder, Animal Protection Institute, 916-267-7266

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