I live in a pretty warm climate, and it’s a common occurrence for me to be in a hot parking lot calling the cops on a dog panting away in a boiling car. Conversely, it’s hard for me to forget the story of the dog abandoned in a van in a New Hampshire airport parking lot in the dead of winter, who miraculously survived. It amazes me how many people seem to think non-humans are somehow immune to the effects of temperature.
Granted, the types of people who make poor choices like that are not the types who would probably be interested in a climate controlled pet carrier, but for the rest of us who think about it on a regular basis, it’s a pretty cool idea (get it? ha ha!)
When I travel with my pets in the car we are obviously at a comfortable temperature for me, so I’m not entirely convinced this is a must-have for all people who travel with their pets. On the other hand, given the airlines’ increasing reluctance to take on the liability of putting pets in cargo, I can see this being a fantastic idea for people sending their pet by plane. I was in a rough situation the other day with a man who had to ship his dog from Los Angeles to Florida. The airline required that I sign a statement saying the pet could tolerate temperatures of 25 degrees. He couldn’t, really- the dog lived in Southern California. He wasn’t acclimated to that any more than the owner was.
Yes, the chances of the dog being in those temperatures for any significant length of time were pretty low. Yet on the off chance they were forced to make a stopover in Boise and the connection got delayed, and the dog sat on the tarmac freezing into a fur-sicle, guess who would get sued if he ended up dying of hypothermia? Good old Dr V, who never should have signed a statement saying it would be fine. The airlines have put us in a really bad position there- they won’t ship without that statement of acclimatization, and most vets are uncomfortable making a blanket statements that “this pet will be fine in both boiling and freezing scenarios, so if something goes wrong, don’t blame the airline, blame me.” Then the owner is stuck at the airport, usually yelling at me on their cell phone.
Next time a client tries to arm twist me like that, I’ll simply write, “This pet can tolerate temperatures between 25 and 80 degrees” (this is what they requested) “as long as they are in a revolutionary climate-controlled pet carrier.”