Tragic stories of dogs suffering, and dying, in hot cars

By Jon Sutz, Founder,™

Caution: Some will find these stories, and the headline screencaps I provide, to be triggering. They're all heartbreaking, especially when the dog's face is included. (This page is actually just a small sampling of items I bookmarked over the years.)

While the circumstances and locations of each of the tragedies presented on this page differ, the vast majority of these incidents have one thing in common: they were 100% preventable.  And the key to preventing them is knowledge.

Here is a page that contains resources to help dog lovers throughout the world to help prevent them from suffering such agonizing injuries, and deaths.


(1) Civilian dogs

(2) Police dogs

All items are listed in reverse chronological order.

(1) Civilian dogs

6-month-old puppy rescued from 122-degree car adopted by fire department, CBS-12 News (Washington, DC), August 29, 2023.

Hiker arrested after dog dies, another treated for heat-related illness on Phoenix mountain, (3TV/CBS 5, Phoenix, AZ), August 9, 2023.

Professional York dog walker caused spaniel's death in heatwave, The York Press (UK) via YahooNews,

Group breaks window to help three dogs in hot car (Walmart), WJAR (

Dog left in hot car at Collierville Walmart, ActionNews5 (Collierville, TN), July 28, 2022.

Dog dies after being left in hot car in Meridian: 'This death was completely preventable,' (Idaho), June 23, 2022.

Dog left in hot car at Frazer Township Walmart, owner charged, CBS Pittsburgh (PA), June 17, 2022.

Toronto dog allegedly left in hot car to die, 2nd death for dog walker, (Canada), June 2, 2022.

Four Dogs Die After Being Left in Car During Woman's Lunch Stop: Police, Newsweek, May 27, 2022.

Security Worker Left Two Dogs In Hot Car And Both Of Them Died, LAD Bible (UK), September 1, 2021.

Dog Rescued from Locked Car in Walt Disney World Parking Lot, People, August 12, 2021.

London: Handler left two dogs to die in cramped car boot in 24°C heat, Metro News (UK),

Las Vegas woman accused of leaving dogs in hot SUV while she shopped (Walmart), (TN),

Dog dies after being left in hot car for seven hours by Dubai day care centre, The National News (UAE), July 26, 2021.

Dog 'nearly dies' after being left in car during blistering heat in Shrewsbury, Birmingham Live (UK), July 17, 2021.

Police: Georgia pet owner left puppy in hot car nearly an hour as she shopped at Walmart, WCJL (Duluth, GA), June 30, 2021.

Padstow: Dog dies after being left in a hot car, owner charged, (Australia), December 8, 2020.

Naugatuck man charged after dog left in hot car at Walmart, (CT), July 22, 2020.

Charges pending after dog left in car on hot day dies: Norfolk County OPP, (Ontario, Canada), July 13, 2020.

Judge orders woman to volunteer at animal shelter after dog dies in her hot car, The Herald News (Portsmouth, MA), November 15, 2019.

Twin Cities Family Grieves Loss Of 2 Pets Who Died In Dog Walker's Care, CBS Minnesota, September 23, 2019.

Video: Florida woman leaves dog in hot car 3 hours at Walmart, dog dies: Police, WTVO (Rockford, IL), Aug 24, 2019:

Police: Dogs left caged in hot trailer, driver arrested (Walmart), WJAR (RI), July 19, 2019.

Dog Dies In Hot Car In NW Colorado, Denver, CO Patch, July 10, 2019.

Dog Left In Hot Car At Secaucus Walmart, Woman Arrested, Secaucus, NJ Patch, September 11, 2018.

Dog dies after being left in hot car in Langford, Victoria News (Canada), July 24, 2018.

Dog rescued from hot vehicle in Walmart parking lot, officials say, WFTV, Orange County (FL), July 24, 2018.

Owner of dog left in hot car at Walmart spent night in jail for shoplifting, police say,, July 11, 2018. Excerpt:

Smith (the witness) said she even rolled up her own windows while waiting to see how quickly her car got hot.

“I was sweating with minutes of doing so,” she said.

Deputy on patrol in Pahrump spots dog in hot car (Walmart), Pahrump Valley Times (NV), July 6, 2018.

Dog dies after being left in hot car at Alabama Walmart for 7 hours: report,, July 5, 2018.

VIDEO: Charges expected after dog left in hot car dies (Walmart), The Trussville Tribune (Alabama), July 4, 2018.

Deputy breaks car window to rescue dog in hot Walmart parking lot, ABC7 Los Angeles, May 9, 2018.

RSPCA investigating after dog dies from being left in hot car, PerthNow (Australia), January 17, 2018.

Dog Dies After Being Left In Hot Car In JP, Police To Release Charges, Jamaica Plain, MA Patch, August 2, 2017.

Dog dies after being left in car in nylon bag while owner cleaned condos, The Palm Beach Post (FL), July 24, 2017.

Dog saved from hot car at Iowa Walmart parking lot, owner cited, WNDU (South Bend, IN), July 22, 2017.

Police: 3 dogs left to die in hot car outside Iowa dog show, WTVC (Ottumwa, Iowa), July 13, 2017.

Florida woman arrested after dog dies in hot car, AP, July 11, 2017.

Dog died in hot car 'while owner went to watch school sports day,' North Wales Live (UK), July 7, 2017.

Man who [left] his three dogs die in hot car as he hit the gym for five hours escapes jail, The Sun (UK), September 28, 2016.

Police: 5-week-old puppy dies after man leaves 2 dogs in hot car, WSET (Danville, Virginia), August 29, 2016.

SPCA: Dog died of heat stroke at Corryville parking garage,

The tragedy of "Lily," in Orlando, from below.

Woman Who Allegedly Left Dog in Hot Car Complains About Heat in Police Car, People, August 25, 2015.

2 dogs left in hot vehicles at Renfrew Walmart on Monday, OPP say, CBC News (Canada), August 18, 2015.

Humane society warns about dangers of hot weather after two dogs die, (Waterloo Region, Canada), .

Dog pulled from hot car dies, ActionNews5 (Memphis, TN), July 29, 2015.

Dog dies after being 'left in hot car for hours while owners shopped in Ikea,' Mirror Online (UK), June 30, 2015.

Fourth pit bull found in hot car put down, KXTV (ABC) Sacramento, CA August 10, 2014.

Dog nearly dies in hot car, CHCH (Ontario, Canada),

Dog dies locked in SUV at Phoenix mall, WTSP, June 3, 2014.

5 Dogs Left in a Hot Car Die in Walmart Parking Lot, The Dogington Post, .

Dog dies after being left in hot car at Acadia University, CTV News (Canada), July 22, 2013.

Dog dies in hot car; Another rescued, WJAR (Rhode Island), July 17 2013. Excerpt:

About half an hour before her shift began on Wednesday, Carla Cheney, a pharmacy technician at the Kemptville, Ont., store, watched a Newfoundlander dog jump out of a truck window twice before a man put the dog back in the vehicle and rolled up the windows.

Upset, she confronted the man.

“I said he should not be leaving his dog in the car. The man said it was none of my business.”

Walmart to post warnings about leaving pets in hot cars after employee fired for confronting customer, National Post (Canada), July 11, 2013.

2 Rottweilers die after allegedly being left in hot truck in Neptune, (New Jersey), August 26, 2012.

Dog Left in Hot Car at Oconee Walmart, Two Charged With Animal Cruelty, Oconee, GA Patch, July 18, 2012.

(2) Police dogs

8 police dogs in transport die after truck’s AC breaks down in traffic, July 29, 2023.

NBC4 Washington DC Police K9 Dies After Being Left in in Hot Vehicle, September 19, 2022:

K9 Dog Died After Left in Hot Police Car, Cop Avoids Charges (FL), MotorBiscuit, May 25, 2022.

Former Cocoa officer avoids charges after K-9 left in hot police car for hours found dead,, May 18, 2022.

K-9 dies in hot car, sergeant demoted after K-9 left alone, dies in hot vehicle, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 27, 2021.

Ariz. cop suspended for 20 hours after K-9 left in hot car dies, Police One, February 12, 2021

Hot Car Death: California K-9 Dog Dies After Being Left in Overheated Police Car, Newsweek, August 26, 2019.

Detroit police dog dies after being left in hot car, (Michigan), Aug. 28, 2018.

11 Police Dogs Have Died of Heat Exhaustion This Summer; 9 Were Left in Hot Patrol Cars, The Weather Channel, August 17, 2015.

Police dog dies after left in hot car for 6 hours: Officer suspended, (Columbia, SC), August 27, 2018.

Police dog handler suspended after dog left in hot car for six hours dies (South Carolina), London Evening Standard (UK), August 24, 2018.

Memphis K-9 dies after being left in officer's hot car, (Memphis, TN), August 18, 2017.

Police dog dies after being left in hot car, NYPost, July 12, 2016.

Police dog dies after being left in hot squad car, (Arizona), June 10, 2016.

46 U.S. police dogs died in hot squad cars since 2011, Green Bay Press Gazette (WI), October 9, 2015.

Police dog died after handler left him in hot car for ten hours, Metro News (UK),

Alabama police officer faces grand jury after dog dies in patrol car, USA Today, June 24, 2015.

Police K-9 dies after officer left dog in hot car: cops, NY Post, May 2, 2017.

Georgia police dog dies after being left in handler's hot patrol car, (Georgia), July 19, 2015.

Airport bomb sniffing dog, left in patrol car, dies from heat, The State (Greenville, SC), September 17, 2014.

Police dog dies after being left in hot patrol car, (Canada), September 12, 2014.

K-9 Officer dies after being left in hot car, WPDE (South Carolina), August 13, 2013.

(Georgia) police dog dies of heat stroke after handler forgets him in a patrol car parked outside his home, Daily Mail Online (UK),

K-9 DIES: Police Dog Left In Hot Car, (Des Moines, IA), August 31, 2012.

Deputy put on leave after 2 police dogs die in hot SUV,, July 27, 2012.

Police dog euthanized after being left in hot car,, July 12, 2012.

Police dogs die in hot car, Belfast Telegraph (Ireland), July 1, 2009.

Mulberry Police Dog Dies in Hot Car, The Ledger (Lakeland, FL), July 22, 2008.

About Jon

I am a dog-loving visualization and graphic designer, writer and creative consultant. My professional bio is here. The most important, joyous job I’ve ever had, was as “dad” to Shayna, the “miracle dog” who helped to save my life after 9/11, and about whom I wrote my first book, “Saved By Shayna: Life Lessons From A Miracle Dog.” Read the Introduction here. See a short video about what made Shayna such an incredibly talented, inspiring and hilarious dog here. I created (and its predecessor site, to help raise awareness of the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car. Learn about my creation of the HeatKills project here.