Dangerous Summer For Pets In Cars: How Hot Does It Really Get? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Dangerous Summer For Pets In Cars: How Hot Does It Really Get?

SPOKANE, Wash. - Anytime the weather heats up, a big concern is pets being left in cars while their owners run errands.  Today, a demonstration by SCRAPS (Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service) showed us just how deadly that can be.

The demo car had the AC running full blast for 10 minutes, before parking, turning off the car and cracking the windows a few inches.  A stuffed animal puppy, and a thermometer were put inside, and every five minutes an animal protection officer took readings of the temperature inside.

At the beginning, the inside temperate was 95 degrees, and the pavement the car was parked on was 128 degrees.  Here's what we found at each reading:

5 min: 97 degrees in front, 84 in the shaded area of the backseat

10 min: 97/89

15 min: 103/89

20 min: 104/89

25 min: 109/90

30 min: 113/92

Temperatures dangerous for any animal – but it gets worse.  According to data from the Journal of the Louisiana State Medical Society, the inside of a car parked on a cloudy, 85 degree day in 53% humidity gets much hotter. 

After 60 minutes, temperatures reached an astounding 160 degrees.

"The thing is that people for some reason don't seem to see the difference between their dogs and their children," said Animal Protection Officer Francie Rapier.  "If you would never take your child and leave them in the car, you would never do the same thing with your pet.  Never leave your dog in the car."

You may be surprised to hear, animal protection officers can break into your car to rescue your animal without a warrant – if they deem it an emergency health threat for your pet.  Most of the time, that means popping a lock in a door with the window cracked, but they can even break your window in those emergency situations.

If you're convicted of putting your animal in jeopardy, you could face 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.  But that's just the beginning.  If you're found guilty of 1st degree animal cruelty, in which an animal died, you could face 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

SCRAPS representatives told us about a case locally where a dog died after being in a car all day, when it was only 65 degrees out.

So this warning is good year round: leave your pets at home.

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