SANTA ROSA, Calif. – The stories are heartbreaking – a distracted driver exits their vehicle to go inside a business or their home and accidentally leaves an animal or child in the backseat in fatal heat. Did you know that the inside of a car can reach 109 degrees in just 30 minutes on a pleasant 75-degree day? The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates that hundreds of pets die from heat exposure in closed vehicles every year.
As the largest provider of service dogs for people with disabilities, Canine Companions cares about service dogs and pets. Canine Companions is asking the community to amplify our voice by signing our petition supporting the Hot Cars Act – while we also work to strengthen the bill.
The Hot Cars Act would require vehicle manufacturers to include sensors in passenger seats so that drivers and nearby bystanders can be notified with an alert if a person is left unattended. These technologies already exist and can easily be included in new cars.
“The Hot Cars Act is crucial to saving lives,” says Jeanine Konopelski, vice president marketing and advocacy for Canine Companions. “We know that by bringing attention to the ways this technology can save the lives of dogs, including service dogs, will make a significant difference. No one should have to experience a preventable loss like this for any loved one.”
Canine Companions supports the Hot Cars Act, but also calls on lawmakers to specifically include service dogs and other animals in the groups protected by its provisions.
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