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Police Issue Warning About Leaving Pets in Hot Cars

Animals can suffer brain damage or death from heatstroke in just 15 minutes, police say.

Information from the Livermore Police Department--

This month, Livermore Police responded to a call where a dog owner left her dog locked in a hot car while she was in a local business.  The dog was left in the car for approximately 30 minutes.  

Although it was only 11 a.m., the outside temperature had already reached 95 degrees.  Livermore Animal Control (AC) rescued the dog and took it to a local vet who stated that if AC hadn’t removed the dog, it would have shortly suffered heat stroke or death.  Identifying the severity of the owner’s irresponsibility, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office charged the pet owner with animal cruelty, which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Livermore Police has responded to several calls to a particular retail parking lot for animals left in hot cars.  As a preventative and educational measure, we put our message board near the store with the message, “Dogs in hot cars don’t mix.”

Being left alone for only 10 minutes may not seem like a long time but when you’re a helpless, dependent pet left in a car on a warm summer day, it just may be the last 10 minutes of your pet’s life.

[Related articles: Too Doggone Hot For Fido]

Believe it or not, with all the press and education out there, Livermore Animal Control still responds to at least 5 calls a week for animals being left in vehicles.  That’s only the tip of the iceberg, our city’s local vets see many more animals for heat-related exposure. 

On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 to 120 degrees in just minutes and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

Animals can suffer brain damage or death from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Dogs can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads. A dog’s body temperature is always hotter than the air surrounding the animal.  So if you put your dogs in the car, not only will the sun heat up the car, but so will their panting.

To help prevent injury to your pet, here are some tips from our local vets: 

1. Even on cooler days, don’t put your pets in the car if you are going to leave it unattended for any period of time.  
2. At home always have ample shade and plenty of fresh water for your pets.  
3. Do not exercise animals on warm or hot days. 
4. Seek medical care immediately if you suspect your pet has experienced heat injury.

If you see an animal in distress please call your local police department. You just may save that animal’s life.

Have you seen cases of this happening where you live? What did you do?
marissa July 10, 2013 at 11:41 AM
Da people come on use your brains
K July 10, 2013 at 11:56 AM
People are so damn stupid. If I ever see a dog in a car I will personally smash your window and take your dog because you are too stupid and unfit to have an animal or even a child.

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