It’s that time of year again, and stories of dogs left in cars are beginning to make headlines.

A Maryland woman has been charged with animal cruelty for leaving her dog alone in a car  with the windows rolled up while she bronzed up at a tanning salon. The car temp was 152 degrees when police rescued her poodle from the oven, reports the Associated Press. The poodle was OK, fortunately.

Another poodle, this one in Michigan, was left in a roasting-hot car and was clearly in distress, according to WXYZ.com. Police were called, and the K9 officer waited for the owner to come back, but ended up breaking into the car to get the dog out. They said the dog would have been dead by the time the owner finally came back.

The saddest tale of deadly car heat so far this season comes from the Pittsburgh area, where a 6-year-old police dog named Chico (pictured left) died after being left in the back seat of a parked police cruiser. K-9 vehicles are usually equipped with fans that prevent overheating in these situations. There are few details being released for this case,  but it’s under investigation, reports WTAE.com. The handler has been suspended without pay.

Most dog owners are extremely aware of the dangers of leaving a dog in a car when the thermometer starts edging up. But did you know there’s an easy way to help save the lives of dogs whose people may not be so well informed? Check out MyDogIsCool.com, where you can download free fliers and posters (like the one above).

The “Don’t Leave Me in Here – It’s Hot” flier can go under a windshield wiper of a warm car with a dog in it. (Of course, if it looks like a situation that will become dangerous, call in law enforcement.) You can give posters to businesses to display in front windows. In addition, the site provides handy info about how hot is too hot, and loads of tips about making your dog’s summer a safe and enjoyable one. Definitely worth checking out.

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Source:  dogster