Photo by Martin Hernandez

Hi I’m Trotsky! I’m a 2-year-old male German Shepherd mix that you just can’t put in a box! I can bounce around playfully like the rest of them, but sometimes I prefer just kicking my paws back on a nice bed. I can be enthusiastic about fetch, but sometimes I’ll get bored mid-game and stretch out to relax. I’m ok on walks and can often sit in cue, but since my leash skills need work, I can be inconsistent about it. While the complexities of my personality require that I be placed with an adult only family, I am eager to learn, always keep it cheerful, and love to flash a warm smile. Trotsky, ID#A060148, is available for adoption at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter located at 1640 9th Street, Santa Monica CA, 90404. The shelter is closed to the public and adoptions are by appointment only by calling the shelter at 310.458.8595.


Despite being one of the most preventable deaths, hundreds of dogs die every year when left alone in hot cars. This is due in part to dog owners not knowing the dangers, and having misconceptions about whether safety can be maintained.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, within 10 minutes, 70 degrees outside can reach 89 degrees in a closed car, and on hot days the temperature can soar as high as 115 degrees. A car window left cracked open does little to impact the climb in temperature.

Since dogs are unable to sweat, even with a bowl of water, when they are left alone in a hot car, they dehydrate quickly leading to heat stroke and sudden death within 15 minutes. Most signs of dehydration require immediate veterinary attention like excessive drooling, lethargy, difficulty breathing, dizziness, lack of coordination, unusual agitation, vomiting, diarrhea.

If you must be away from your dog, plan ahead. Hire a pet sitter, drop them off for a play date with their best dog friend, or treat them to doggy daycare. If you must bring your dog with you, choose pet friendly establishments.

According to California Penal Code 597.7, it is against the law to leave a dog unattended in a vehicle in conditions that endanger its health or wellbeing. If you see a dog alone in a car, take action! Call 911 and report that a dog has been left unattended in a vehicle. Include any signs of distress. If the car is parked outside of a store, speak to a staff member as they may be able to make an announcement to their customers.

No ifs, ands, or buts about it, leaving your dogs alone in a hot car is futile, while avoiding it saves lives! The choice is a no brainer!

Pet of the Week is provided by Carmen Molinari, a long-time volunteer at the Santa Monica Animal Shelter and founder and CEO of Love At First Sit, a pet care and dog training company in Santa Monica. Learn about her, pet tips, and Love At First Sit services at