TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As temperatures are expected to rise in the next coming months, officials are asking for people and their pets to stay safe. Inside of a parked car, under a hot, summer sun, temperatures inside can increase by more than 40 degrees in an hour.
As authorities are asking drivers to be aware of kids in backseats, they also ask owners to not leave their pets behind in parked cars.
It can take less than 30 minutes for an animals to suffer brain damage or die from excessive heat in a car. One major contributing factor is due to an animal’s fur.
Terre Haute Humane Society volunteer, Carla Artis, compares fur as the equivalent to wearing a winter coat in the summer.
“A dog, his only way of keeping cool is through panting or his paws. They don’t really have the opportunity to cool themselves off when they’re in a car,” She said.
Artis adds leaving a window partially rolled down is not an effective way to keep a car cool when temperatures are high.
For a more precise look at how temperatures can increase inside of a parked car in different situations, look at Meteorologist Savanna Brito’s, “Dangers of cars in the summer hot days” story. A link is provided below.
Animal heat stroke symptoms include; drooling, puking, and excessive panting.
Vigo County Sheriff, John Plasse says animal cruelty is a misdemeanor in Indiana. However, that charge could be more severe if an animal dies from heat.
“If you truly care about your pet, you’re not going to put in in harms way. By truly showing that you care about your animal, put them somewhere where they’re safe, where they’re not suspect to injury,” Plasse said. “In this situation, it’s unfortunate for everybody involved.”
Under state law, residents who see an animal suffering from extreme heat inside of a car, can break that vehicle’s window to rescue the pet.
But, Plasse encourages civilians to use that method only under special circumstances.
“We recommend you call us and lets us do that so there’s no issue between someone that’s not in law enforcement. But, if it’s a dire emergency and that animal is in danger, that’s allowable under Indiana law.” Plasse added.
As temperatures are expected to get even hotter in August, Artis asks all pet owners to be mindful.
“Just think about how you want to be treated when you’re outside and know your pet deserves the same kind of treatment you would give yourself.” Artis said.
The Terre Haute Humane Society says owners should be weary of animal’s paws being damaged from walking on hot sidewalks and to stay hydrated with cold water.