Ariel is a one-year-old shepherd mix looking for a summer soulmate! Pope Memorial Humane Society

From the desk of Pope Memorial Humane Society’s Foster Coordinator Brandi Moore,

It’s a balmy Maine summer day. You and your dog pull into a Renys parking lot to grab some sunscreen and a Whoopie pie on the way to the beach. Ugh! No shady spots to park. You glance down at the car’s thermometer and it’s only 70 degrees outside. Well, you’ll be right back — 10 minutes at the most. So you crack the windows, pour some water into Daisy’s bowl, and give her a pat on the head.

Thirty minutes later…

After you couldn’t find your favorite Banana Boat SPF 50; and ran into your next door neighbor, who had to tell you all about her recent camping trip to Moosehead; and you got stuck in the longest checkout line in New England; you finally get back to your car. You open the door, and a blast of hot air hits you in the face. Then your heart leaps into your throat!

Every summer, as the heat goes up, so does the danger of dogs dying because they’ve been left inside hot cars. Even with the windows cracked, the temperature inside a car can climb to 104 degrees in 30 minutes and to 113 degrees in 60, even on a relatively mild 70-degree day. Your dog has nowhere to go to escape the stifling heat.

Dogs aren’t like humans, who cool themselves by perspiration and evaporation. Panting is their principal means of cooling off, and that’s remarkably inefficient in a hot, stuffy car.

Contrary to popular opinion, cracking the windows provides little relief, and leaving water, while it might ward off dehydration and heat exhaustion, doesn’t eliminate the danger of heatstroke or death.

What can you do? For starters, never leave your dog inside a hot car. Renys, Loyal Biscuit and some other stores actually welcome them inside. It’s probably better to leave them safely at home if you’re going shopping on a warm day, however.

If you see a dog trapped inside someone else’s car on a hot day, call 911 immediately. An Animal Control or police officer will be dispatched to rescue the dog and bring it to the shelter, where — if it’s not too late — we can help cool it down. Your timely action could save a dog from needless suffering and even save its life!

If you think you might like to foster or adopt a cat or dog awaiting a forever home of their own this summer, we here at PMHS would love to help you find a great forever adoption match or welcome you to join our foster family!

Ariel, Brain and James Brown are some cool dogs searching for hot summer soul mates!

Pope Memorial Humane Society is located at 25 Buttermilk Lane in Thomaston; due to COVID-19, adoptions are by appointment only until further notice; for questions or to schedule an appointment call 594-2200; if interested in adopting or fostering a PMHS animal, fill out an application on popehumane.org.

Wish list: Rabbit food, timothy hay, paper towels, AA & AAA batteries, kitten chow, kitty litter, hamster food and file folder labels. Thank you.