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For Immediate Release: 06/07/06

National group launches summer initiative to stop dogs from dying in hot cars

Sacramento, CA — The Animal Protection Institute (API), a national nonprofit animal welfare group, today launched its summer initiative “My Dog is Cool” to save dogs from dying in hot cars during warm-weather months.

Every year, dogs die after being locked inside cars while their guardians leave them, often for “just a few minutes.” These animals’ deaths are tragedies that occur with alarming frequency, yet are completely preventable. Throughout the summer, the news media alerts 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.

“As the summer heats up, it’s important that people be made aware of the dangers of leaving companion and service animals inside hot cars,” says API’s Chief Executive Officer Michelle Thew. “People mean well by taking their dog along with them while they work, visit, shop, or run errands, but warm weather can literally turn a car into a death trap.”

A Stanford University test found that even if it’s only 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature can rocket to 116 degrees within 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 gives the public access to free, friendly resources to help spread the word about the dangers of hot cars. These resources include downloadable “It’s hot!” flyers that can be used when a dog is left in a hot car, and an easy weather forecast lookup to help plan road trips with canine pals. The www.MyDogIsCool.com site provides everything needed 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. Nissan and BWC are working with API to spread the message and encourage other auto manufacturers and travel service clubs to come on board.

API is actively encouraging other car companies to include prominent warnings in vehicle manuals and to back the My Dog is Cool campaign. API has also introduced legislation in the state of California, SB 1806, that would make 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 nonprofit 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, 916-447-3085 x205

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