WILLIAMSBURG, VA (WWBT) - With Tuesday's heat index expected to approach 105 degrees, the Heritage Humane Society is issuing a warning about keeping animals safe in the heat.
The danger is not just in leaving a pet in a car but also for animals that are left outside with no protection from the sun.
In Virginia, leaving an animal in a hot car can result in the owner being charged with animal cruelty.
Citing the American Veterinary Medical Association, the Humane Society said the temperature in a car can increase by 20 degrees in 10 minutes on a hot day, and the temperature continues to increase the longer it is left in the sun.
Parking in the shade or rolling a window down part-way is not enough to provide an animal enough relief from the heat. Temperatures inside a parked car can become deadly to animals when the outside temperature is at least 72 degrees.
If you see an animal left unattended in a vehicle, alert any nearby businesses to make an announcement to alert the vehicle's owner or call 911.
Emergency responders can break into a vehicle if an animal is in distress inside.
On Monday, Richmond police tweeted a picture of a K-9 puppy eating ice as a reminder to keep yourself and your pets hydrated.
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