Local officials warn to not leave your pets in your cars on hot, sunny days

Published: Jun. 30, 2019 at 12:08 PM EDT
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Even though it's cool today, on a sunny, hot summer day. a car can be a death trap for your pets.

James Hotham, Owner of Hotham's Veterinary services, says that even on a pleasant, sunny seventy degree day, a car can heat up to ninety in ten to fifteen minutes . And, according to The ASPCA's website, on an 80 degree day, the inside of a car can heat up to about 115 degrees in less than 30 minutes. Also air conditioning is no guarantee that your pet will be safe. If the car is parked under the beating sun, even with the AC blasting, the results can still be deadly

Hotham adds that if you are concerned about your pet, you should look for some signs and symptoms of over-heating.

"If the animal looks like it's in distress or agonal like having difficulty breathing. Panting a lot or being very listless, you know, maybe they've gone in like a heat stroke and they're not moving. I guess you have to the animal cause a lot of them will just be laying in the seat waiting for their owner to come back," Hotham said.

Hotham adds that if it's hot out, you should leave your animals at home, so they don't over-heat. Officer Kevin St. Peter of the Caribou Police Department says that if you are concerned about an animal in a car, to go ahead and call the police but he urges you to not break a window, because you could face charges.

"Like any other case that we do, we would investigate it, get their statement, look at the…all the conditions. After reviewing, they could potentially get charged with criminal mischief for breaking a window," St. Peter said.

According to Jim Mitchell of the Houlton DA's office, if you do get charged with Criminal Mischief, you can face up to 364 days in and receive a $1,000 fine. He adds you could also be asked to pay restitution for the damaged property or the deductible on the insurance or both.

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