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Cobb Toddler's Death in Hot Car Prompts Prevention Campaign Proposal

Since 1998, there have been more than 600 documented cases of children dying in hot cars, and every year, PETA receives reports about panicked animals who have suffered and died in agony inside vehicles during warm weather.

Courtesy PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
Courtesy PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals)
Submitted by PETA

The tragic death of a 22-month-old toddler locked inside a blistering-hot car in Marietta has garnered national attention, and now PETA has written to Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin this morning asking if he would permit the group to place its eye-catching "Time Expired" advisories on parking meters throughout the city.

The decals show a child and a dog inside a parked car and read, "Time Expired: Children and Dogs Die in Hot Cars." The campaign aims to remind everyone that no child and no dog should ever be left unattended in a car—even in just warm weather, because even then, temperatures inside the vehicle can climb rapidly and unexpectedly.

"PETA's parking meter stickers can save the most vulnerable among us: children and animals, who need all the protection they can get from summer heat exhaustion and fatalities," says PETA Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. "People in Marietta—and across the country—can forget that you should never to leave a child or an animal in a parked car on hot or warm days, no matter how quick the errand, as distractions come up all the time and fatal mistakes can be made."

On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to well over 100 degrees in just minutes, even with the windows slightly open. When a child is left in a hot vehicle, his or her body temperature can increase three to five times faster than an adult's, and because dogs can cool themselves only by panting, they can succumb to heatstroke in just 15 minutes and can sustain brain damage or die as a result.

According to a San Francisco State University study, more than 600 children have died in hot cars since 1998, and PETA receives numerous reports every year about panicked animals who have died painfully inside cars during warm weather.

PETA's letter to Mayor Tumlin is posted below. For more information, please visit PETA.org.


June 27, 2014

The Honorable Steve Tumlin

Mayor of Marietta

Via e-mail: stumlin@mariettaga.gov

Dear Mayor Tumlin:

I'm writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters, including thousands across Georgia, to ask you to join our efforts to prevent the deaths of children and animals in hot cars. The recent passing of 2-year-old Cooper Harris, who died because he was left in a car in 90-degree heat for hours, is a stark reminder of the dangers of leaving any child or animal alone in a vehicle. Many other children and dogs die every year when their guardians forget that they are in the car or leave them locked in a vehicle while they "run into the store for a minute." By posting our "Time Expired" parking meter decals on Marietta meters, we can help prevent such tragedies by providing drivers with a vital reminder that it takes only a few minutes for a child or animal to die of heatstroke.

Since 1998, there have been more than 600 documented cases of children dying in hot cars, and every year, PETA receives reports about panicked animals who have suffered and died in agony inside vehicles during warm weather. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to well over 100 degrees in just minutes, even with the windows slightly open. Children's bodies warm up three to five times faster than adults' bodies do, and dogs can cool themselves only by sweating through their paw pads and panting, so these vulnerable members of our families often succumb to heatstroke in just minutes, resulting in brain damage or death.

While the nation discusses this terrible case and the dangers posed by hot cars, we hope you will join our efforts to prevent others from enduring such a horrific ordeal. We have sponsored similar signs in California and would be happy to send you our decals to place on parking meters on busy streets and near shopping centers. These can help prevent motorists from making a heartbreaking fatal mistake while also encouraging passersby on the street to keep a vigilant eye out for individuals left inside unattended vehicles. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Allison Fandl

Special Projects Coordinator

Cruelty Investigations Department


Brent Seeger June 27, 2014 at 04:07 PM
Americans are overworked, over taxed, over inundated with illegals, criminals, Demo-Kommies, and fifth columnists. No wonder they forget their kids in their cares. Most Americans are not intelligent enough or well educated enough to get themselves inside an office not to mention a kid.
Janet Rau June 28, 2014 at 06:56 AM
Are the any parking meters in Marietta or Smyrna? Lived her for 24 years and I can't think of one.
Just Say'n June 28, 2014 at 10:10 PM
Signs on Meters might help but most kids and dogs are left in shopping center parking lots or office parking lots. Signs on entrance doors might be more practical. If you see a child or a pet in a hot car call the police you might save a life.

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