‘We will smash your windows:’ Cops issue stern warning about leaving kids or pets in hot cars

SUQUAMISH, Wash. — Suquamish police have a message for the community: Do not leave pets or kids in hot cars … or they’ll break your windows.

The post quickly went viral Monday with nearly 1,000 shares in about five hours.

FAIR WARNING: IF YOU LEAVE A CHILD OR A PET UNATTENDED IN A CAR ANYWHERE IN SUQUAMISH OR INDIANOLA DURING THIS HEAT SPELL, WE WILL IMMEDIATELY SMASH YOUR WINDOWS OUT TO SAVE THEIR LIFE, AND CHARGE YOU WITH ENDANGERING THE LIFE OF AN INNOCENT. YOUR CAR CAN REACH LETHAL TEMPERATURES IN LESS THAN 10 MINUTES IN THIS TYPE OF HEAT. THERE ARE ZERO LEGITIMATE REASONS TO LEAVE A CHILD OR PET IN A CAR ALONE DURING A RECORD HEAT WAVE.

We will not dilly-dally waiting for you to return, nor will we waste time trying to open the doors using our unlock equipment. If the child is sweating or the dog is panting, we’re breaking your window instantly, rescuing the innocent, and charging you with the maximum offenses allowed by law. We will not let a child or pet die in front of us.

Hot-car deaths are a problem across the United States, especially in the hotter months.

According to the safety organization Kids and Cars, an average of 37 children die each year in hot cars. These include instances where a child has been forgotten in a car, accidentally locks themselves in a car or trunk, or, in a small number of cases, when a child has been intentionally left in a car.

NoHeatStroke.org, a data site run by a meteorology and litigation expert, has been collecting data on these incidents since 1998. Since that time, the highest number of deaths per year was in 2010, with 49 deaths. 2015 had the lowest rate of incidents, with 24.

In June, four Arkansas women were charged with manslaughter in the death of a 5-year-old boy who died after he was left inside a day care van all day, police said.

In May, two young children were found dead in Parker County, Texas.

CNN contributed to this report