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Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
2:10 PM Sat, Nov. 17th

An avoidable tragedy: dogs in hot cars

Every summer, as temperatures rise, so does the danger of pets dying because careless owners leave them in a hot car.

While humans cool themselves by relying on an extensive system of sweat glands and evaporation, dogs and other animals have a harder time staying cool, leaving them extremely vulnerable to heatstroke, according to a news release.

Parked cars quickly trap the sun’s heat. Even on a day when it’s 70 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car with all the windows closed can hit 90 degrees in only 10 minutes.

On a hot day, the temperature inside a closed car can shoot as high as 116 degrees in the same amount of time.

Leaving the windows open a crack doesn’t eliminate the danger of heatstroke or death.

Arizona Revised Statutes 13-2910 states that it is a Class 1 Misdemeanor to leave a pet unattended and confined in a motor vehicle and physical injury to or death of the animal is likely to result. A peace officer or animal control enforcement agent may use reasonable force to open a vehicle to rescue an animal.

Prescott Valley Police Department and Animal Control asks your help when you see a pet left in a hot car.

Take down the car’s make, model and license-plate number.

If there are businesses nearby, notify their managers or security guard and ask them to make an announcement to find the car’s owner.

Many people are unaware of the danger of leaving pets in hot cars and will quickly return to their vehicle once they are alerted to the situation.

If the owner can’t be found, call the non-emergency number of the local police or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive. It takes only minutes to save a life.

Prescott Valley Police Department can be contacted at 928-772-9267 for non-emergencies, 911 for emergencies.