KANE COUNTY – After sheltering in place for over a year, it feels good to get outside and feel the warmth of the summer sun – but Kane County Animal Control wants to remind residents not to leave their pets in hot cars, officials announced in a news release.
There is a Kane County ordinance specifically written to protect pets from an untimely death in an automobile by heat stroke: No owner or person shall confine any animal in a motor vehicle or enclosed trailer in such a manner that places it in a life- or health-threatening situation by exposure to a prolonged period of extreme heat greater than 86 degrees or cold 20 degrees, without proper ventilation or other protection from such heat or cold.
Hundreds of pets die every year due to being left in parked cars. These deaths could have been prevented if the owners realized that even though it didn’t seem that warm outside, inside a parked car with the sun beating down on the car’s metal exterior, the heat inside the car can rise 20 degrees in just 10 minutes, the release stated.
And the longer the vehicle sits, the higher the temperature goes inside the vehicle.
That 30-minute dash into the store with a dog stranded in the car on a cloudy 75-degree day with the windows cracked a little can prove deadly, because by the time an owner returns, the inside temperature of the automobile has risen to 109 degrees, the release stated.
Cracking a window open doesn’t change the situation, as a hot car is still a hot car inside and out, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Dogs sweat through their paw pads and “through the expansion of blood vessels in their ears and face,” according to the American Kennel Club. Heat stroke can occur very quickly in a dog when their body temperature rises and can be fatal if not treated immediately.
The law also gives permission for police officers to enter a motor vehicle by any reasonable means after making an effort to locate the owner and rescue the pet if they believe the health and safety of the animal is being violated.
“Our pets stayed with us through the pandemic,” the release stated. “They are loyal, supportive friends that need our protection from the heat this summer. Reward your best friend for their loyalty by ensuring that this is the summer where no pets perish in cars due to heatstroke. Make the decision to leave your best friend at home in a cool, safe house.”