In Wake of Heat, Don't Forget Man's Best Friend

Never leave your pet in a car, even for a minute. Keep your pets safe and cool during this week's heat wave.

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons

Did you know it is illegal to leave your pet in the car when the outside temperature is 70 degrees or higher?

If the interior of the car is not provided with conditioned air to maintain an internal temperature of 80 degrees fahrenheit or less, leaving an animal in your car could land you a class 3 misdemeanor, according to Loudoun County Animal Services. If the animal suffers from heat stress, the charge could jump to a class 1 misdemeanor.

On a 78-degree day, car temperatures can reach anywhere between 100 and 120 degrees in minutes, according to PETA. On 90-degree days like today, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes. Excessive heat exposure can cause pets to suffer irreversible organ damage or die, according to the Humane Society of the United States.

If you see a pet in a hot car, Loudoun County Animal Services recommends following these steps:

  1. Record the make, model, color, license plate number, and location of the vehicle. 
  2. Call LCAS at (703)777-0406 or Loudoun County Sheriff's Department at (703)777-1021.
  3. Report this information to the store manager and ask that the owner of the pet be paged.
  4. If possible, stay until an Animal Control Officer arrives to help them locate the vehicle quickly.  


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