TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – As cold weather approaches, small animals may look to your car for warmth and shelter.
However, if you start up your car with an animal inside, this could be dangerous for the animal and your car as well.
Terre Haute Humane Society Executive Director Charles Brown said that they’ve seen instances of this during the colder months. It is more common of cats to find shelter in the hood of a car. Brown said that some unfortunate situations could even result in death.
“Every year we get a few animals in that have either had tails removed because of fan belts or even fatalities,” Brown explained.
Potential damage could be done to your vehicle. Finzel’s Mastertech Owner and Operator Steve Finzel said that small animals can cause harm to the wiring in the car.
“We’ve had them where they’ve crawled up on top of the gas tank underneath the car and ate the wiring,” Finzel said.
Finzel said that they dealt with a few cars with animal specific damage earlier this year, but none yet as winter approaches. Certain damage done to a vehicle due to animal specific damage could be costly.
“We’ve had connector issues that are $100,” Finzel said. “The drop in the tank one was like an $1800 repair on that.”
The main way to prevent a tragedy or damage to your car is as simple as tapping on the hood of your car before you start it up. Walking around your vehicle to look it over is also an option.
“Just give the hood a big bang and look it over to make sure that nobody has snuck up in there overnight,” Brown said.