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Warm Temperatures Can Be Dangerous for Pets Left in Cars

Please remember to be cautious with pets as the weather gets warmer. As temperatures heat up outside, the heat can create a dangerous situation for your pet inside a parked vehicle.

The interior of a car heats up 40 degrees in an hour, even when the windows are cracked and the outside temperature is 70 degrees. That means on a 70-degree day, your car can feel like 110 degrees inside it. Most of the increase in temperature happens within the first 30 minutes the car is parked. A change of only a few degrees in your pet’s body temperature can lead to brain damage or death, so leaving your pet in a parked car for only a few minutes can be dangerous.

“The safest choice is to leave your pet at home,” said Animal Control Supervisor Julie DeJong. “Leaving your pet in a hot car could also result in animal cruelty charges or citations.”

If you are concerned about an animal in a vehicle on a warm day, call Animal Control right away at 911 or 367-7000. Tell the dispatcher the license plate number and a description of the vehicle. This will speed up the process of finding the owner. You can monitor the situation, but police do not recommend breaking any window to retrieve a pet, as that action could result in vandalism or other charges.

Animal Control views these situations as a high priority and they will respond as quickly as they can.