In the wake of cruelty charges filed against a man whose dog died when left for hours in a hot car during auditions for “American Idol” in Denver, PETA has rushed its PSA featuring "Idol" judge Simon Cowell - coincidentally warning of the dangers of leaving dogs inside cars—to television stations across the country, including KDVR, the Fox affiliate in Denver which airs the popular singing competition.
And we even get to see the “softer” side of the otherwise characteristically caustic judge.
"Far be it from me to be critical, but I find it really appalling that, this year, thousands of dogs will die of heatstroke inside parked cars," Cowell says in the spot, in which he appears with his canine pal, Claude. "Never ever leave your dog inside a parked car. Your dog idolizes you. In warm weather, keep him safe at home."
The animal rights group hopes that by airing the PSA, further deaths may be prevented as temperatures continue to soar nationwide.
Quincy Vanderbilt, a 24-year-old from North Dakota left his small terrier in his vehicle while he and his girlfriend lined up to audition for “Idol” for over nine hours during the Denver try-outs. When he returned, the canine was dead and authorities later issued the man with a “misdemeanor summons for animal cruelty” for his negligence.
"Simon would be shocked that this incident happened during auditions for his own show," PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch told Tarts in a statement. "Even on merely warm days, it's better to be safe than sorry and plan to leave your animal companions comfortably at home."
Hollie McKay has been a FoxNews.com staff reporter since 2007. She has reported extensively from the Middle East on the rise and fall of terrorist groups such as ISIS in Iraq. Follow her on twitter at @holliesmckay