Last year, the Idaho Humane Society received more than 400 calls for pets locked in hot cars.
BOISE, Idaho — It’s something we hear about every year, hot days means hot cars for your pets. Communications Manager for the Idaho Humane Society, Kristine Schellhaas, said a dog died after its owner left it in a hot car in Meridian.
The truck was parked in the sun with the windows cracked. Schellhaas said at the time, it was 84 degrees outside, but inside the car was 147 degrees.
“This death was completely preventable. This person chose to put their dog in a car and we really recommend leaving your pets at home,” Schellhaas said.
If you can’t do that, she says come up with a plan.
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“If possible, leave an adult in the car if you must take your pet with you, with the air conditioner running,” Schellhaas said. “Lock your pet in for safety, again, the AC has to be on. Also, know the limitations of your vehicle. A lot of people think they’re fine with the auto start, but most vehicles will shut off after 10 minutes or so.”
If you witness a pet in a car, there are some things to first consider.
“In the City of Boise, it is legal per the ordinance to break a window, but there’s a lot of risk that comes with it and regulations. The first thing you must do if you see a pet in distress is call 911. The dispatcher or the police have to get permission to break the vehicle, otherwise you could be liable,” Schellhaas said. “Secondarily, you must remain with the pet until the police come back. So, it’s one of those things where you’re still taking a risk by rescuing the pet and that’s something that each person must make.”
Just another reminder, to look before you lock.
“It’s really disheartening. These pets suffer,” Schellhaas said. “This is not the first pet that had died and those animals that live can have lifelong consequences.”
Last year, the Idaho Humane Society received more than 400 calls of pets locked in hot cars.
The owner of the dog that died in Meridian was cited for neglect and cruelty and will face prosecution. If you witness an animal in distress, please call animal care and control at: (208) 343-3166.
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