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“Dog in Oven” Poster Draws
Attention to Leaving Dogs
Alone in Hot Cars


September 10, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Joe Scott, Director of Communications
Sandi Gibbons, Public Information Officer
Jane Robison, News Secretary
Shiara Dávila-Morales, Assistant PIO
(213) 974-3525


LOS ANGELES – Poster-boy “Bilby” the dog is making his debut this week in a campaign to remind pet owners that it’s against the law to leave pets unattended in hot cars.

The poster depicts Bilby sitting on a pan in an open oven. “Hot Oven, Hot Car…It’s the Same Thing” reads the poster. “Leaving an animal in a hot car is a CRIME.”

“Leaving your dog in a hot car, even one parked in the shade, can be both a deadly mistake and a crime,” said Deputy District Attorney Deborah Knaan, Animal Cruelty Case Coordinator. “If you love your dog, leave it home where it’s safe.”

Knaan said the District Attorney’s office is launching a public awareness program to remind residents that even on mildly warm days, when the temperature is 72 degrees or hotter outside, the temperature in a car can be over 100 degrees, causing severe injury and death to animals.

Studies have shown that with the vehicle windows left slightly open, an outside temperature of 85 degrees can cause a temperature of 102 degrees inside a vehicle within 10 minutes, and 120 degrees within half an hour. A healthy dog, whose normal body temperature ranges from 101 to 102.5 degrees, can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 degrees for only a short time before suffering brain damage or death.

Under state law, pet owners who leave their animals unattended can be charged with misdemeanor animal endangerment and face up to six months in jail. If the animal dies, the owner could be charged with felony animal cruelty and face up to three years in state prison.

Knaan said free posters of Bilby are available to business owners, veterinarian offices and residents who want to get the word out that the dog days of summer can be lethal to Bilby and his friends by going to the D.A.’s web site at: http://da.lacounty.gov/mr/091009a.htm.

For more information, contact: Deputy D.A. Deborah Knaan, (213) 503-7254.

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