Clutching her pup, Vargas, a star-spangled Katee Sackhoff flies to the rescue in a new comic book–style PETA ad that proclaims, “When the Heat Gets Too Much, Be a Hero and Rescue Dogs From Hot Cars.”

Katee Sackhoff on Dogs in Hot Cars
Katee Sackhoff on Dogs in Hot Cars

In an exclusive video interview with PETA, the Battlestar Galactica and Longmire star shares why dogs should never be left in hot cars. “In under 15 minutes, an animal can succumb to brain damage, and within 15 minutes, they can die,” she says. “And it doesn’t matter if you’re parked in the shade, if you have the windows cracked, if you leave them water. It doesn’t matter. You’ve left your animal in an oven.”

That’s why Sackhoff urges anyone who spots an animal in danger to write down the license plate number, try to find the animal’s guardian, call the authorities, and, if necessary, remove the animal from the vehicle. “I would break into a car — I’ve seen people do it before,” she says. “It’s no different than the fire department going into your home when your dog is stuck inside if there’s a fire in your house.”

This year alone, PETA has already received reports of 41 dogs who have died after being left alone in cars, even on relatively mild days: On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to 100 degrees in just minutes. On a 90-degree day, interior temperatures can reach as high as 109 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

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