With the heat of the summer return the dangers of leaving a pet in the car.

Often people leave their dogs in the car while they shop or run errands, but doing so, even for a few minutes, can be a death sentence for your pet.

Dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can cool off only by panting and through the pads in their feet. Being left in a car, even one that is parked in the shade or with the windows cracked, can compromise your pet’s health in a short amount of time. For example, it may be 72 degrees outside, but a car’s internal temperature can rise to 116 degrees within 20 minutes. Studies have shown that cracking the windows has little effect on a car’s internal temperature.

A dog’s normal body temperature is between 101 to 102.5 degrees; a dog can withstand a high body temperature for a only short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.

Signs that a dog is suffering from a heat-related illness include:

Excessive panting

Excessive drooling

Increased heart rate

Trouble breathing

Disorientation

Collapse or loss of consciousness

Seizure

Respiratory arrest

What should you do if you see a dog in a hot car?

If you see a dog alone in a parked car, you should go inside the business and ask the manager to make an announcement, call the police and the local animal control agency. If you see that the dog is in distress, call 911 right away.

You may think it is treat to bring your dog along for the ride while you are running errands. However, if you cannot take your pet with you into the establishments you are visiting, then it is best and safest to leave your dog at home.

Coming events

PET ADOPTION EVENT: LA/SPCA will hold a pet adoption event and bake sale from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Clearview Mall, 4436 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie. Adoption counselors and volunteers will be on hand to help families select the right pet. Call (504) 368-5191 or visit la-spca.org for more information.

PET ADOPTION EVENT: ARNO will hold a pet adoption event from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at Petco, 3520 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie. For more info: adoptfromarno@yahoo.com.

YAPPY HOUR: LA/SPCA will be the beneficiary of Yappy Hour on the Patio from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at Felipe’s Mid-City, 411-1 N. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans. Leashed pets are welcome in a fur-friendly atmosphere, with doggie treats for the pooches and drink specials for the dog owners. For every margarita or sangria purchased during Yappy Hour, Felipe’s will donate $1 to the LA/SPCA. For information, call (504) 288-8226 or visit felipesneworleans.com.

LOST OR FOUND PETS: In Orleans Parish, you can send a photo, description of your pet, date lost/found and your contact information to lostandfound@la-spca.org. In Jefferson Parish, send to molsen@jeffparish.net and bbourgeois@jeffparish.net, and in St. Bernard Parish, send to cluna@sbpg.net.

Traci D. Howerton is social media editor of Animal Rescue New Orleans, a nonprofit, volunteer-based, no-kill shelter. Contact ARNO at arno. advocate@gmail.com, call (504) 571-1900 or visit www.animalrescueneworleans.org.