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Spring is almost over in Colorado, and summer is just around the corner. As temperatures rise, it is more important than ever to think of your dog's safety when considering leaving him alone in your car.
Some passionately will argue dogs should never be left alone in cars, while others will allow certain exceptions (i.e. the car is running and the air conditioner is on; the dog will be in the car for less than five minutes; or the car is parked in the shade and the windows are cracked; etc...). Others don’t seem to think the issue is even worth considering, as is evidenced by the hundreds of dogs left to die in hot cars every summer in the U.S.
While the purpose of this article is not to haggle over which exceptions are acceptable and which are not, it is intended to help conscientious people advocate for the summertime safety of dogs. Feel free to copy the bullet points in this article, print them out and stick them on the windshields of cars with unattended dogs. Information is power, so let's use it to help those who cannot help themselves.
If you see a dog unattended in a car this summer, you should act on it immediately. Take note of the car's model, color and license plate number. Then go to the closest establishments and ask the managers to page the car's owner. If that doesn't work, your next best bet is to call the police. Police can respond much faster than most animal control departments and can quickly enter the car and save the dog.
As for your own dog, only take him with you when you are sure he will be welcome into the establishments you are visiting. If you are unsure, contact the management of the establishments and ask about their policies. There are a number of dog friendly businesses in Denver. Patronize them, and encourage other businesses to join the list. But whatever you do, don't risk your best friend's health by leaving him in a hot car. Were he to be overcome by heat, he'd have no choice but to quietly succumb to it.