Warning: Leaving pets in hot cars can be deadly

Jun 18, 2014
Courtesy of: Mukilteo Police Department Temperatures can rise quickly inside of a vehicle on a hot day.

As the weather improves and temperatures rise, the Mukilteo Police Department would like to remind residents of the dangers of leaving unattended pets in vehicles.

Already this spring, Mukilteo police have received several 911 calls about dogs locked in hot cars. Not only is it dangerous (and potentially deadly) for your pet, it is against the law to leave your unattended pet in a hot vehicle.

Pet owners may be issued a criminal citation for transporting or confining an animal in an unsafe manner, a misdemeanor offense with a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail.

On a mildly warm day in Mukilteo, temperatures inside vehicles rise rapidly. Even with the windows cracked, there is insufficient airflow to keep the inside temperature cool enough for pets, especially dogs.

Certain breeds of dogs are more prone to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Brachycephalic breeds (Pugs, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, Bullmastiffs or Pekingese, to name a few) have a more difficult time cooling themselves.

Dogs do not sweat. Instead they cool themselves by panting, exchanging warm air for cool air.

Above is a chart to illustrate how quickly temperatures can rise inside of a vehicle provided by Shanita Duke, Mukilteo’s community services and animal control officer.

While it might be tempting to bring your pet with you on even the shortest of errands, remember that they are safer if left at home.

Every year many dogs and other pets suffer long term health problems related to heat stroke.

Be a responsible pet owner: Leave your beloved family pet at home during the warm spring and summer months. It simply is not worth the risk of losing them to heat stroke.

Report distressed pets locked in cars immediately by calling 911 – minutes count!

-Edited by Beacon staff

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.