PETA billboard design plays off sweat lodge deaths

Posted: Updated:

PETA officials want to post a billboard in Sedona that links the tragic deaths of three people in an area sweat lodge to warning people about keeping dogs in parked cars during the heat.

"A sweat lodge can kill you. A hot car can kill him. Dogs overheat faster than humans," is the message printed in large block letters across the proposed billboard design.

Self-help guru James Arthur Ray was found guilty last week of negligent homicide in the deaths of three people overcome by heat in his sweat lodge in 2009.

The PETA group is negotiating with outdoor advertisers in the Sedona area to display the billboard.

"Leaving a dog in a hot car is as dangerous as locking a person in a sweat lodge," says PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. "The rule is simple: When the weather turns warm, never leave your dog in the car."

Unlike humans, dogs can only sweat through their footpads and cool off by panting, PETA stated in a written release. On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes. On a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

Dogs can quickly succumb to dehydration and heatstroke and suffer brain damage or even death as a result.

Copyright 2011 KPHO. All rights reserved.