Animal Control issues warning about pets in hot cars

Animal Control issues warning about pets in hot cars
If an animal dies in a hot car, its owner could be charged with a felony.

HANOVER, Va. (WWBT) - With extreme temperatures expected this weekend, pet owners are being reminded to keep their animals safe.

Hanover County Animal Control issued a warning that it only takes a few minutes of being left in a vehicle on a sunny day for a pet to experience life-threatening stress.

Jeffrey Parker, chief of Hanover Animal Control said just an 80-degree day can cause an animal to die in minutes if left in a car with the windows rolled up.

Temperatures this week are expected to be in the 90s every day with 100 degrees possible on Saturday. The low temperatures are expected to be in the upper 70s.

Temperatures inside a locked vehicle can reach 120 degrees in just minutes, even with a window open. Parking in the shade doesn’t prevent that.

Signs of heat stroke in a pet include heavy panting, glazed eyes, rapid pulse, unsteadiness, staggering gait, vomiting and a deep red or purple tongue.

If an animal begins to suffer heat stroke, remove them to a cooler locations and apply cool water over their body and lower the temperatures. Ice packs should be placed only on an animal’s head, neck and chest.

Don’t be tempted to allow them to drink a lot of water. Only allow small amounts of cool water or licking ice cubes.

The animal should also be taken to a veterinarian for evaluation.

If you see an animal that has been left unattended in a vehicle, call 911. Hanover Animal Control said it will be patrolling parking lots looking for “pets and other living things” left behind.

Pet owners can be charged with felony animal cruelty if their animal dies as a result of being left in a hot car.

Some other tips include not forcing your pet to exercise after a meal in hot weather, don’t leave a dog standing on hot asphalt, providing shade for your animal at the beach and rinse salt water off their fur, bring animals inside during the hottest part of the day and monitor overweight and “snub-nosed” animals such as bulldogs, pugs and Boston Terriers.

For more information on animal control regulations, visit the Hanover County Animal Control website.

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