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Leaving Pets in Cars, Potentially Deadly and Criminal

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (wggb) — During periods of extreme heat it’s common to hear of people trying to fry an egg on the pavement. And many times we have to stand back before getting into a car that’s been parked in the sun. Yet for some the idea of leaving a dog alone in the car is fine as long as the windows are cracked. But not only is it a potentially deadly situation for a dog, it could also leave pet owners with a criminal record.

Linda Rowland was running errands Sunday, when she heard something that alarmed her.

“And when I got out of my car, I heard dogs barking and they were in distress,” Linda recalled.

Linda called the police, when the officer arrived he began testing the area around the vehicle. He measured the asphalt to be a steamy 126 degrees, inside the van was 100 degrees.

“Then he put it on top of the vehicle and it was 110 degrees. Those dogs were cooking,” she said.

Dogs left in a car in conditions like today are at risk for heat stroke or heat exhaustion, and the symptoms for dogs can be brutal.

“What you would be looking for with an animal is excessive panting, lethargy, staggering, weakness and if these things go too long, the animal could die,” explained Candy Lash with Dakin Humane Society.

And what many may not realize is that there are serious repercussions that pet owners can face for this type of neglect.

“Anything from fines all the way up to animal cruelty charges could be levied against people who are bringing their animals in cars on these hot days,” Candy said.

Animals with smushed faces, like pugs, and french bulldogs can be especially sensitive because of their already compromised respiratory systems.

While leaving a dog along in a hot car can be deadly, regular activities like walks, outings and even trips to the yard can put an animal at risk. Candy says the best way to protect your pet is by limiting that outdoor time and keeping your home cool.

Candy says that pet owners should leave their pets at home any day it reaches 70 degrees or more.. and make sure they have plenty of water. If you see an animal alone in a car, you should immediately contact your local police or animal control. If you suspect animal cruelty you can call the MSPCA Law Enforcement Hotline at 1-800-628-5808. All of those cases are investigated and calls can be placed anonymously.

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