As the mercury rises, so typically do the number of calls to authorities regarding animals left alone in parked cars in the heat. This spring is no exception.
“Do not leave dogs in cars. We’ve had several calls already,” said Sulphur Springs Animal Control Supervisor Barbi Blanch.
Blanch said she hopes the reminder will prevent situations such as one Sulphur Springs Animal Control officers encountered two years ago. A dog had been left in the car in a store parking lot while the owner went in to get a new chain. The temperature in the car had reached 104 when animal control became aware of the situation. The window of the car was busted out to get the canine out. The dog was then rushed to a local veterinarian, where it was put on ice and given fluids to help it re-hydrate.
“People don’t realize how hot the inside of a car can get even with cracked windows. Keep cars running with the air conditioner on; that’s the only time the dog should be in a car, even for 5 minutes,” Blanch said. “Dogs already have a higher body temperature, plus fur.”
“Especially with temps going up, it takes about 5 minutes before temps go up in cars,” said Annie Patridge, who added that no pet should be left in a hot car. “Cats have a higher tolerance than dogs. Don’t leave them in the car either.”
Leaving a pet in a hot car, Blanch said, can not only result in death or serious injury to animals, but it can also result in jail time.
“It is cruelty to animals unless the car is running,” Branch said. “Charges can be filed if we have to pull a pet out.”
“Cruelty to animals is a Class A misdemeanor. If the animal dies it could be felony,” said Patridge.