Leaving Pets In Unattended Cars Can Be Deadly
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Even in North Central Florida a pet is endangered inside a car-- even if they are properly restrained.
The temperatures are getting hotter and hotter as the summer months unfold. And while we can crank up the AC and roll down the windows, our pets can't.
And leaving your pet unattended inside a car can be deadly. Your car can become a death trap for pets even if its mildy sunny outside. The temperature inside a car can reach well over 100 degrees.
"I know how uncomfortable I feel when i'm in the car and it's very hot."
And Gainesville resident Paul Gebhart is not the only one. Summer in Florida is especially hot. And while some may think leaving our pet unattended for a few minutes might be okay, others disagrees.
"You're kidding yourself if you think you'll run anywhere and are only going to be a few minutes."
Gigi Hanna says distractions are everywhere. The few minutes we say we're gonna take to buy a loaf of bread, can be deadly.
"Dogs can't sweat, so they rely on panting to lower their temperature so when they pant, they exchange the air, and when the air itself is reaching the temperature of their body, they can't cool down. So once their temperature gets to 104 or above it becomes life-threatening," says Investigator for Alachua County Animal Services, Jessica Lauginiger.
Lauginiger says Animal Services receives at least one call a day about pets being left inside a car. And that's just in Alachua County. She says multiple calls can be received during the summer. And while leaving your pet unattended inside the car can hurt him, it can also hurt your wallet.
"We can give a monitory fine, which is a civil citation and it's usually about 170 dollars," says Lauginiger.
And the if the cat or dog is in distress, the owner could be charged with cruelty.
"If it's you know, unfortunate enough where the animal dies, we can go criminal. It's a criminal felony charge for animal abuse," says Lauginiger.
If a call is received, animal services will use a thermometer to measure the temperature inside the car.
"Generally when somebody leaves an animal in the vehicle, they generally crack the windows a little bit. It may give some relief, but it's not enough. So we would just feed it through the window and down into the vehicle and then we just wait," adds Lauginiger.
And after waiting for about two minutes, the temperature inside the car jumped from 84 to 94 degrees.
"You shouldn't leave your pet in your vehicle no matter what. So even if you're running into the store and coming back out, even that five minutes can be deadly."
Different devices can be used to put inside the windshield. If temperatures get too hot, they can serve as a warning.
Pet owners should be aware that as the temperatures outside continues to get hotter, so does the temperature inside the car.
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