Category Archives: dog in car

Kingsbrook Animal Hospital’s Top 5 Things To Remember When Traveling With Your Pet

There’s no place like home for the holidays! Traveling with your pets can be a very exciting adventure…especially during the winter months. When traveling with pets during this holiday season there are even more things to consider too!
Here are the TOP 5 TRAVEL TIPS for winter-wanderings with your four-legged family:

Having a first aid kit on hand with some basic supplies is a great idea while traveling.

Anything can happen; especially when having to stop for frequent potty breaks. Having a small first aid kit for your pet that includes things like clean water, a bowl, extra leash, baby wipes to clean off paws, Neosporen-type ointment, gauze squares, paper towels, and tweezers can be helpful in the event of a small accident. Also the addresses and phone numbers for emergency
animal hospitals along your route in the case of a big accident can be very helpful, or at the very least, put your mind at ease.
Making sure you have a current Rabies Certificate and up to date vaccine certificate is very
helpful when crossing state lines; depending on where you are traveling to, an Interstate Health
Certificate or an International Health Certificate may be needed. Certain pet-friendly hotels will
want documents like the Rabies Certificate as well to make sure they are allowing vaccinated
fur-guests into the rooms. Plus in the event that a stop at a vets office is necessary during your
trip, you can present them with Fido’s vaccine history.

KAH CSR Kelly’s sweet Wyatt loves to ride in the car! Use a seatbelt or tether to keep pets safely anchored in the backseat.

Having your pet sit on your lap or ride ‘shotgun’ with you may seem like a good idea, but slippery conditions can be unpredictable due to the weather changing so quickly during this time of year. Having your pet secure in the car is the best option for their safety (and yours)! A kennel, carrier or pet-specific seat belt is a great way to make sure that they don’t go flying in the event of a car accident or sudden stop.
Providing toys, chews or treats is a great way to make sure your furry family member is occupied during long trips. Making things like a Kong Pupsicle is a great way to keep Rover busy for a while! (soak their kibble in water, smush it into a Kong toy then freeze- VOILA!). You may want to avoid things like stuffed animals that can be destroyed and ingested since you’ll be driving and unable to keep a continuous eye on them.
Having your pets everyday items are a must for traveling with them. Food and
water bowls, daily medications, food, collar/harness, leash and ID tags are an
absolute must. Having extra bowls, leashes and collars are a really good idea to
have ‘just-in-case’. Absorbent towels and plastic bags are a staple item during the
winter time- nothings worse than a wet dog and 8 more hours to drive!

Is It Illegal to Leave Your Dog in a Locked Car?

Yes, it is — in 14 states, at least, and then only if the dog’s life is in danger. We explore the ramifications of this controversial practice.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is for informational, educational, and/or entertainnment purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. Use of and access to this article or any information provided or contained within does not create an attorney-client relationship. The opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author and do not reflect the opinion or viewpoint of Dogster. If you have a legal issue regarding your pet, contact your own attorney.

I live in Miami Beach, where the temperature is often in the high 90s, with relative humidity of 95 percent to 100 percent. For eight or nine months each year, it really is like a sweat lodge outside. I’ve been taking care of dogs for years, and I find it absolutely unthinkable to leave a dog in a parked car, even with the air conditioning on. We’ve probably all known someone who does this and won’t be swayed. It’s dangerous, because leaving the air conditioning on requires the engine to be running, which means that the car and the dogs can be easily stolen. Also, if the air conditioning malfunctions or the car is towed, the animals will suffer — or, worse, die of heat exhaustion.

There are so many horror stories about people, dogs, and other animals that have been left to die in hot, parked vehicles. Why don’t people learn? It’s illegal to lock an animal in a parked car or other vehicle in 14 states: Arizona, California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and West Virginia. Although the types of animals that are protected vary, it’s obviously encouraging news that our pets are protected. However, in order for the law to be violated, the animal’s life must be in danger from the conditions of the confinement, which include:
Extreme hot and cold temperatures
Lack of ventilation
Failure to provide food and water
Other circumstances that could reasonably lead to suffering, disability, or death

People who knowingly violate the laws can be fined and even incarcerated. In New York, the fine for the first offense is $50 to $100. The steepest fines are proscribed in Vermont, where you can be imprisoned for not more than a year and fined up to $2,000. In West Virginia, you can be fined $300 to $2,000 and sentenced to up to six months in jail. North Dakota, Maryland, Nevada, and South Dakota do not provide a penalty for violators. Various “rescue provisions” are provided for 11 of the 14 states if a protected animal is found locked in a vehicle. Most of the provisions allow an authorized agent to take any action necessary to rescue it, such as breaking the window. In New York, the rescuer is specifically protected from civil and criminal liability “if they take such action in reasonably good faith.”

In Dogster’s Laws and Legislation forums, Dogster reader Ava wrote of her experience in Virginia. She and her fiance left their two dogs in their car for approximately 20 minutes while they went shopping at Walmart. As they returned to their car, a police officer approached and questioned her fiance about the dogs. Someone had called the police. Ava stated that it was a “relatively” cool night — although humid –- and that she thought the dogs were not in any danger. And she said that the officer did not give them a warning –- he “just drove off after her fiance explained to him that the dogs were just fine and dandy.” A lively discussion ensued and many readers responded. A good number of readers agreed with Ava, basically stating that they would get mad, too, if someone reported that their dogs were in danger when apparently they were not. Other readers took the position that if it was hot, they would report it. One reader was ticketed $150 for leaving his dogs unattended in the car, although he parked the car at a window where he could watch them. Overall, it appeared that most readers felt the owner of the dogs should decide whether it is safe to leave the dogs unattended.

I researched the laws of the town of Farmville, Virginia, where Ava’s incident occurred, and the only law related to dogs was a leash law. Still in search of a specific answer, I finally found the Farmville Communications Center, where the animal control officers are located. I asked if there were any laws that made it illegal to lock dogs in a car for a 20-minute shopping visit. I was told specifically -– twice, in fact -– that “as long as there is water and adequate ventilation, it is okay.” Steven Scott Hale M.Ed. J.D. Ava did not say whether she left water in the car for her dogs. Nor did she mention whether the vehicle was well ventilated. If she did not leave water in the car, then she did violate the local law as reported by the animal control officer. However, there is no stated penalty for violating this law.

Ava also commented, “I’d never expect someone to call the police about dogs in a car at nighttime. Who does that? Really?” Ava and her fiance obviously felt comfortable leaving her dogs in the car for a short while. However, the anonymous person who reported the situation to the police clearly didn’t feel the same way. Since the caller did not enter the car or attempt a rescue, he or she did not violate any laws, but simply reported what he or she interpreted to be a dangerous situation. It is not my position to take sides, but I do want to take a closer look at the issues. Fourteen states have laws that regulate and/or prohibit leaving animals locked in cars. Should a pet owner have the right to treat their animals in any way they see fit? Obviously, according to 14 states, the answer is “absolutely not.” Despite the fact that dogs and pets are personal property, there is a public interest in treating that property with respect. After all, most dog owners do not see their dogs as property, but as loving family members.