Officials Warn of Dangers of Leaving Pets in Hot Cars

The Mercury may have only gotten above 90 a few times this summer but the warmest days of the year are still to come and with that the potential for tragedy.

Officials with the Caldwell County Office of Emergency Management are reminding residents to never leave pets unattended in parked vehicles. Even with the window down animals can die due to heatstroke within 15 minutes.

Studies show that every year an untold number of pets die from hyperthermia, which happens when the body absorbs more heat than it can handle. Officials state that hyperthermia can occur even on mild days when temperatures are in the 70s.

A dark dashboard or seat can easily reach temperatures in the range of 180 to over 200 degrees after being in direct sunlight for even an hour. These objects can then heat the air inside the car quickly, raising the temperature to dangerous levels within minutes. In just under an hour the temperature inside a vehicle can reach 123 degrees on an 80 degree day, which can easily become a death trap for anyone or anything inside.

Officials suggest leaving your pets at home if you will be traveling into areas where they can not stay with you, such as grocery stores, the workplace, or restaurants. If you come upon a pet left in a vehicle unattended call 911 and wait until the problem has been resolved.

For our story about officials warning of children being left in vehicles, click here.