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Despite soaring temperatures, some still leaving dogs in closed, hot cars

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BURIEN, Wash. -- If it’s hot outside, then it’s even hotter inside your car.  That’s the message from local animal control officers.

It’s a scenario that can be deadly for pets left in cars, yet authorities are responding to a growing number of cases.

“We have a couple different laser guns,” said animal control officer Alex Hughes from Burien C.A.R.E.S.

Hughes used his laser thermometer to illustrate how quickly temperatures can rise inside a parked vehicle.

“It looks like it’s gone up about 13 degrees in about 8-9 minutes,” he said.

Hughes said he’s responded to trapped animals inside cars at least six times in the past week alone.

“Never, ever, ever under any circumstances leave your dog in the car, especially if you don’t want your window broken and your dog impounded,” he said.

Hughes and Burien police rescued a dog last weekend after they said its owner left it inside her car for two hours and the temperature soared to 103 degrees.

“The owner has been cited under negligence and neglect laws as well as paying kenneling and other care fees,” said Hughes.

The pooch later went back to its owner; Hughes said the owner apologized repeatedly.

In a separate incident in Gig Harbor, a photo was taken of a white dog stuck inside a hot station wagon. They said the dog had been in the car for nearly an hour.

Starting in July, a new state law goes into effect that aims to protect police and animal control officers from being held liable if they have to smash out car windows to rescue a pet.

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8 comments

  • Dnanc

    Wha’s the matter with these idiots!!?! They can’t stay off socal media and yet miss the message that extreme heat kills kids n’ pets?!. Looks like we need a quick law – if a small child or pet is your car car, you will be followed and ticketed. If the child or pet is seen unattended in car, the window will be broken, kids n’ pets removed. It seems people just don’t get that hot cars are death traps to anyone that is incapable of opening a window or door, such as little children and pets. Its inexcusable and there should be 0 tolerance.

    • Dnanc

      One more thing – how about keeping it simple and leave the kids n’ pets at home. Replan your day so you can leave the house without them. Or unless everything is drive thru under no circumstances are they left in cars alone. Seems simple to me.

    • rivercs

      Did you state that someone with a pet in his/her car will be followed and ticketed? Any person at any time, traveling with a pet in his/her car for any reason? Including someone like my stepdaughter heading over to our house with her rescue parrot and her service dog (also an adult rescue)? Including someone taking a pet or pets to the vet, or to the off-leash park, or to training, or for any other thing that will enhance the pet’s quality of life? And that anyone traveling with a small child in his/her/their car will likewise be followed and ticketed, no matter what the reason? Wow.

  • BearTex3

    Why dont people leave their pets at home. Do you idiots really need to take your dog grocery shopping, or to a restaurant or to the mall or even walmart. I have even seen a dog in the theater. Does your dog really need to sit on your lap or while you drive or laying on the dash in front of the steering wheel. Let your pets stay your pets. They are not kids. Would you idiots let your kids sit on your lap or on the dash while driving. I hope not, so why let your dog. A fat person driving a smart car with a lab on their lap is not smart.

  • Richard Zachar

    On May 28th, the Miami Herald reported that 2 K9 police dogs were found dead in the back of a HOT CAR after being accidentally forgotten by their officer/handler. Like a child who is inadvertently left alone in a car tragedy struck. There is no going back, they are gone. This did not have to happen, the Bee-Alert HOT CAR safety alarm would have verbally reminded the officer to check the rear seat and the dogs would not have been neglected. I am quite sure that the officer was devastated, these animals are his working partner and home companion.
    We at Bee-Alert Safety Products invented our alarm to prevent this type of heatstroke death in vehicles. Our alarm is inexpensive and simple to install, just peel and stick. Bee-Alert reminds the driver to check the rear seat for children. It works as equally as well for pets. Remember “an ounce of prevention…” Contact us with questions or for more information regarding deep discounts for caring and concerned groups. It is our goal to stop tragedy before it happens. Thank you, Richard Zachar Managing Partner. Comments- rzachar@bee-alert.com 352-638-2553