Animal Service Officials: Never Leave Pets Alone in Hot Cars - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Animal Service Officials: Never Leave Pets Alone in Hot Cars

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Washoe County Regional Animal Services is reminding the public to never leave your pet alone in the car on hot days--not even for a few minutes. 

Last year, they responded to more than 1,200 calls of pets left in cars during the summer season alone. The most common reason animal control officers hear when responding to those calls is that they were "only gone for five minutes."

Shyanne Schull, Director of Washoe County Regional Animal Services says even that is too long, "On a 95 degree day, it only takes 10-15 minutes for your car to reach 115 degrees."

Pets can quickly experience heat distress, stroke, brain damage or even death in high temperatures.

Animal Control Officer, Brandon Vanassche adds, "The temperatures themselves can, no different than a small child, affect them where it can become fatal."

When officers arrive on scene to a pet in a hot car call, they will first try to locate the owner. They will even page the owner in the stores or stores they may be in. 

If they fail to locate the owner, especially if the situation is time-sensitive, an officer will break car windows to get to the pet. The animal will be taken to a vet for evaluation even if the pet seems "okay."

Violators can face up to $1,000 in fines, often for pet cruelty charges. Repeat offenders can possibly face additional legal action.

Officials say the most simple solution is to leave your pet at home on hot days. 

If you happen to see a pet left in a hot car, call 911 or Animal Control Services immediately. They advise the public to not attempt to break a window to get the animal out yourself, as the car owner could possibly press charges.

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