(CBS DETROIT) – Following recent reports that police had to rescue a dog left inside a hot car in a parking lot in Troy, PETA issued an urgent warning about the importance of never leaving animals in hot vehicles.

Last year, at least 32 companion animals died from heat-related causes, and that doesn’t include the cases that go unreported.

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Credit: PETA

The following tips will help keep animal companions safe in hot weather:

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  • Never leave an animal inside a hot vehicle.
    Temperatures can quickly soar in parked cars, and a dog trapped inside can die from heatstroke within minutes—even if the car is in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to no effect on lowering the temperature inside the car. PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help with intervening in life-or-death situations.
  •  Keep animals indoors, and leave them at home when it’s hot outside. Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, so even brief sun exposure can have life-threatening consequences. Anyone who sees animals in distress and is unable to help should note their locations and alert authorities immediately.
  • Avoid hot pavement. When outdoor temperatures reach the 80s, asphalt temperatures can climb to 140 degrees, causing pain, burns, and permanent damage to dogs’ paws after just a few minutes of contact. Instead, walk dogs on grass whenever possible, and avoid walking in the middle of the day.
  • Never run with dogs in hot weather—they’ll collapse before giving up, at which point, it may be too late to save them.

Credit: PETA

In addition to sharing these tips, PETA also shared a warm-weather public service announcement.

For more information on how to protect animals during the warm weather, visit PETA.org.

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