Where’s George Clooney when you need him?
There she is, Italian supermodel Elisabetta Canalis (Clooney’s ex-love), trapped in a sweltering car – panting for air, sucking the last drops of moisture from an empty water bottle, and kicking at windows for escape.
No, it’s not reality television, but the latest youtube video by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), warning audiences of the dangers of leaving dogs and other pets in cars on hot summer days.
According to the animal rights organization, the temperature in a parked car on a 78 degree day soars to between 100 and 120 degrees Fahrenheit in just minutes. On a 90 degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
“Animals can suffer brain damage or death in just 15 minutes,” says PETA. “Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by sweating through their paw pads.”
In short, for a dog in summertime, your car is like a hot oven, an unintended death trap.
With forecasters predicting a hotter than usual summer coast-to-coast, Canalis’ sweaty demo is more apt than ever.
“It’s very dangerous and sometimes deadly to leave our animals in a car,” says Canalis. “If you know you are going to run errands, leave your dog at home. It’s definitely too hot for our dogs.”
Sadly, that point was driven home this week when it was reported that two K-9 dogs, left by their Bexar County, Texas Sheriff handler in a patrol car overnight, died of heatstroke. Another K-9 also died of heatstroke when left by Bexar County Sheriff’s handlers in a hot patrol car in 2010.
Canalis, 33, championed another PETA cause last year, posing nude for its “I’d Rather Go Naked Than Wear Fur” campaign.