Hot vehicles can prove deadly for furry friends

Seeing an animal in distress may evoke a knee-jerk response prompting concerned citizens to rescue the over-heated pet, but good citizens should exhaust all options first before resorting to breaking windows.

According to Susanville Police Department Animal Control Officer Kim Warren, it’s important during summer months to take care of animals in distress in hot cars, but measures should be taken first before resorting to damaging property.

“Everyone wants to resort to breaking windows,” said Warren. “But you want to exhaust all avenues before doing that.’

If one were to see an animal in a vehicle, concerned citizens should check the area for the vehicle’s owner, check nearby stores for the owner, see if the door is unlocked and call law enforcement.

She also said those attempting to rescue potentially over-heated animals should snap pictures and videos of the animal, take down the license plate number, make sure it’s actually exhibiting signs of distress.

If those attempting the help the overheated pups have taken all measures, and law enforcement is not coming, then concerned citizens could take drastic

measures.

However, Warren said people could be charged with damaging property if they did not take the proper measures.

Moreover, pet-owners should take into consideration the dangers of leaving their fury friend in the vehicle, even with the windows cracked.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, “The temperature inside your vehicle can rise almost 20 degrees in just 10 minutes. In 20 minutes, it can rise almost 30 degrees … and the longer you wait, the higher it goes. At 60 minutes, the temperature in your vehicle can be more than 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature. Even on a 70-degree day, that’s 110 degrees inside your vehicle.”

Even on a cloudy or overcast day, pets could be in danger if left in a vehicle.

“Your vehicle can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness and even death, even on a day that doesn’t seem hot to you. And cracking the windows makes no difference,” continued the American Veterinary Medical Foundation.

Overall, whether you’re a concerned citizen or a busy pet-owner making a quick dash into a store, take caution.

According to Warren, the police department responded to sometimes two to three calls a week in July regarding animals in vehicles, but the frequency of calls was dependent on a variety of factors.

If you see an animal in distress in a locked vehicle, call dispatch at 257-2171.

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