Chico, Calif. – The official start to summer is still weeks away but the North State region has already been experiencing rather hot temperatures.
As it gets warmer there is a safety reminder all pet owners are urged to consider and that is to not leave your pets (or people for that matter) inside a hot car. Temperatures can rise fast and can quickly become dangerous if not deadly for your pets or loved ones.
It is an issue Chico Police Officer Abigail Madden says she sees often. When she is not tending to law enforcement duties of catching bad guys, she is also spending time helping to educate the public about the dangers of leaving an animal in a hot car. She also works with store outlets and retailers, to educate them on how to keep an eye out for offenders in parking lots.
She offers a simple reminder, that just like we don’t like to be left in an enclosed car, neither do our pets and it is not good for them. She says even with multiple safety messages shared with the public, the department and Animal Control Officers routinely receive multiple calls a day for this kind of incident. She says it is an ongoing issue.
She describes arriving on scene to find animals that are in health crisis because their owners left them in the car.
Her advice to animal lovers is simple. She says leave your animals at home when you are going shopping or doing errands. She also says, not only is it not safe in the car but it can be equally dangerous to bring your pet into an establishment with you. She says the best approach is to make arrangements to leave your pet at home, where they are safe and ideally inside a temperature controlled location. Officer Madden says home is the safest place for your pets.
What happens when an animal is left inside a car with rising temperatures? Tracy Mohr, the Manager of the Chico Animal Shelter says basically, an animal is being cooked alive.
She says she cannot think of a more horrible way to die. In describing what happens, Mohr offers this description: 'As the temperature rises their bodies start to shut down. Their internal organs become overheated; they stop functioning. The animal goes into shock because they are not getting blood supply. Their circulation is compromised. Their liver, kidneys and brain all start to fail and their body is cooking alive.'
Mohr says, leaving car windows cracked does nothing to assist in animal. The bottom line in keeping your animal safe is to leave them at home. California does have a state law addressing this issue which outlines what you can legally do should you encounter an animal in distress.