Experts warn to keep pets out of cars as temps climb

Posted at 6:35 PM, Jun 23, 2014

SALT LAKE CITY -- Temperatures are expected to climb from the 80s to 90s this week and with the intense heat animal experts say it’s important not to leave your pets in the car.

Best Friends of Animals Society says the rule of thumb is if it's over 70 degrees outside leave your pet at home, unless you plan to take your dog with you when you arrive at your destination.

“Even short errands can go terribly wrong, unfortunately,” said Temma Martin, spokeswoman for Best Friends of Animal Society. “Having windows cracked in the car, doesn't help enough, parking in the shade, shade moves fairly quickly. The things you think you are doing to keep you pet safe just might not work.”

In just 30 minutes the car temperature can rise from 75 degrees to 118 or on the extreme end from 94 degrees to 145.

Salt Lake County Animal Services says since April it has received 116 calls about dogs left in cars.

If you see a dog in a car, animal experts suggest you first try to locate the owner, and then call animal control or the police. They don't recommend you break a window because you assume liability.

“I would say always err on the side of over reacting. I'm not saying break people’s windows impulsively, but to take it seriously,” Martin said.

Animal Services says depending on the severity of the case drivers can face animal cruelty charges for leaving their pet in the car.

Something that could easily be avoided, they say if you leave your pet at home.