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Every summer thousands of dogs become victims of heat trauma as they wait trapped in hot vehicles parked in the direct sun.

Many dog owners and even police, not fully educated on this issue, are indifferent or even apathetic about the devastating effects that heat trauma can incur with dogs. Too many people believe that it is OK to leave a dog alone and locked in a vehicle as long as the windows are cracked.

Consequently, as temperatures rise, so does canine mortality. Here's the reason why: A dog can’t sweat to lose heat like humans do; therefore, inside a hot car, their body temperature can reach 106 degrees within five to 15 minutes; that’s when brain, heart damage, and even death can occur — even with the widows cracked.

 Besides that, leaving a pet unattended and locked in a vehicle in direct heat (even with the windows cracked), is a violation of Oregon animal abuse statutes ORS 167.320, 167.322 and/or animal neglect statutes ORS 167.325, 167.330 (Class A misdemeanor to Class C felony, maximum of one to five years’ imprisonment, $6,250 to $25,000 fine, or both).

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The Oregon Coalition against Canine Vehicular Entrapment asks that you, as concerned citizens, be the eyes, ears and voice of those who cannot speak for themselves.

The more aware the public is about canine vehicular entrapment, the less likely perpetrators of this heinous crime will commit it.

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Kay Sams

Philomath (June 23)

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