Last Modified: Sunday, July 14, 2013 10:27 PM
During the summer months, leaving a pet in a vehicle for just 30 minutes could be deadly, according to a Sulphur Animal Control official.
Harry Carruth, animal control supervisor, said he gets several calls throughout the year about pets being left in vehicles, but that the calls significantly increase during the summer.
“Most of the time it’s people leaving their animals inside the car while they go into a store,” he said. “It’s not so much that we get them from little convenience stores where people are running in and out, it’s people going into the bigger stores and leaving their pets in the car.”
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 102 degrees in just 10 minutes, even when windows are left cracked. In 30 minutes, the temperature can reach about 120 degrees.
Carruth said that when he receives a call about an animal being left in a vehicle, animal control locates the vehicle and then tries to find the owner.
“We have (the owner) come out and we talk to them and try to educate them to let them know that they really shouldn’t leave their pet in the vehicle,” he said. “It’s cruelty to animals to leave a pet in a vehicle, especially when temperatures are high.”
Leaving a pet in a vehicle is “no different than leaving a child in a car,” Carruth said.
“We want to bring this to the forefront so people will pay attention,” he said. “We understand that people have needs and don’t think they will be in the store very long, but within 15 to 20 minutes the temperature in that vehicle has climbed several degrees.”
According to the ASPCA, an overheated animal can be cooled down by soaking it in cool water.
To report animal cruelty call the Sulphur Animal Shelter at 527-4577 or law enforcement authorities.