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HEATSTRIKER – Save a pets’ life this summer

Every summer pets are injured or killed when trapped in locked, hot cars. The HEATSTRIKER is a brand-new, innovative, tool allowing people to break a car window and rescue pets in distress, with the support of Swedish law.

Launched nationwide in Sweden this summer, in pet stores and online, Arken Zoo, the leading pet supply chain in the Nordics, wants to send a clear message; no pets should be left in locked, hot cars.

STOCKHOLM, 12 JUNE 2023 – On a warm summer day the temperature in a locked car can rapidly increase, turning the car into a death trap. Swedish law states that in an emergency, meaning an imminent threat to the trapped pet’s health or life, one is allowed to break a car window to rescue the pet from harm or injury.

The HEATSTRIKER is an innovative tool, combining a hammer, that allows breaking the car window, combined with a bottle, providing the pet with water immediately upon rescue. The HEATSTRIKER will be sold in a limited edition in selected stores across Sweden.

Sarah Frelin Ekvall, Marketing Director at Arken Zoo Sweden says: “With the HEATSTRIKER we give people a tool to save lives, allowing people to act if they see pets in danger and supported by law. Launching a potentially lifesaving product together with an in store and online campaign, the HEATSTRIKER is our most impactful and meaningful campaign to date.”

Heatstroke is a life-threatening condition, yet many owners leave their beloved pets in a locked car, alone during the warm summer months, even if it were for only a few minutes to run “quick errands”. The HEATSTRIKER campaign emphasizes that a quick errand can take longer than expected and that a parking spot in the shade could end up in direct sunlight, within few minutes. It’s important to remember that even in the shade, the temperature in a locked car becomes too hot for pets to handle.

The HEATSTRIKER campaign launches in June 2023 and includes instore posters, onsite parking signs with the actual product and online informercials and information on the product, how to prevent heatstroke and what to do if a heatstroke does occur in pets.

“We are now able to inform and support pet owners along their journey as responsible pet owners. Essentially, we hope that the HEATSTRIKER will never be required, and instead serve as an important reminder that cars are for transportation only, never to leave a pet in a locked, hot car, not even for a ‘quick, few minutes’”, Sarah Frelin Ekvall concludes.


How the HEATSTRIKER works
The HEATSTRIKER is a tool that can be used to break the car window in an emergency. It also has a water container/bottle attached to it enabling to quickly offer liquid for the rescued pet. According to Swedish law, the general public has the right to break a car window in an emergency if a pet is in distress, meaning that the animal’s health or life is in danger. The person who breaks/smashes the window must also be prepared to identify themselves to the police and car owner and to provide a witness account.

The HEATSTRIKER is on sale for a limited time at selected Arken Zoo stores around Sweden. All proceeds from the sale of the HEATSTRIKER will be donated to the Swedish Animal Ambulance, a not-for-profit organization run by volunteers helping animals and pet owners in need, offering a safe and professional transport to the vet, animal hospital or other appropriate agency. This way Arken Zoo can help even more pets get the help they need.

If you spot an animal in distress, trapped inside a car
Before using the HEATSTRIKER, one must assess the situation and try to find out how the animal in the car is doing. Follow these steps to ensure no pets are injured or killed in a hot car:

If you spot an animal in distress, trapped inside a car
If you spot an animal in distress, trapped inside a car

Why hot cars are dangerous
In the summer, the temperature in a stationary car can rise quickly, by many degrees, in just a few minutes. This means that a normal Swedish summer day of 18-20°C (64.4-68°F) is fully sufficient for the car to become a heat trap and therefore a danger for pets trapped inside.

  • For a pet trapped in a car, high temperatures can quickly lead to overheating and, in worst case, a heatstroke, which in turn can cause injury and, in the worst case, death of the pet.
  • According to Jordbruksverket, the Swedish Board of Agriculture, one must never leave an animal unattended in a car if there is a risk that the temperature inside the car could exceed 25°C (77°F).
Why hot cars are dangerous
Why hot cars are dangerous

What to do in case of a heatstroke
Contact the vet or animal hospital immediately, whilst simultaneously doing the following steps:

  • Try to get the cat or dog to drink water.
  • Cool the cat or dog’s whole body and wet it with lukewarm/cool water, not freezing cold! Can be done by bucket, water hose, shower – whatever is at hand.
  • Make sure the cat or dog is placed in the shade. Ventilation/fan (blow) is important.
  • Immerse the cat or dog in open water, for example in a pond, pool, a ditch, a shower; use whatever is at hand. Then drive with all the car windows open, the car’s ventilation on full speed, alternatively the AC on maximum cooling, and with the cat’s/dog’s mouth by the air intake.
  • Snub-nosed cats and dogs have narrow airways and can experience severe shortness of breath without needing to be overheated. At the slightest sign of breathing problems, a veterinarian must be contacted immediately.

How to spot heatstroke in cats

  • forced breathing
  • salivation
  • restlessness
  • wobbly gait
  • if serious – collapse

How to spot heatstroke in dogs

  • seeking water or cool floors where the dog’s stomach cools
  • hissing
  • drooling
  • dry and red mucous membranes
  • a high heart rate
  • the dog is anxious or confused
  • unable to stand up or the dog collapses during a walk

With dogs, severe cases of dehydration include dehydration, wobbliness, breathing difficulties, vomiting and bloody diarrhea. The dog can also go into shock and circular collapse if urgent measures are not taken.

About Arken Zoo
Arken Zoo is Sweden’s largest pet supply chain with more than 100 stores nationwide. Arken Zoo is part of the Musti Group with a total of around 280 stores in the Nordics. Through physical stores and e-commerce, Arken Zoo offers a wide and affordable range of products and services of the highest quality for Swedish pet owners. More important than the company size is our organizational vision to make the lives of pets and their owners easier, safer, and more fun. Welcome to Arken Zoo. We love animals.


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