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Huntsville Animal Services seeing more calls for pets left in hot cars

Animal services told WAAY 31 a car can become deadly for an animal within minutes.

Posted: Aug 16, 2019 10:43 PM
Updated: Aug 16, 2019 10:44 PM

With the recent heat wave, calls are coming into Huntsville Animal Services about animals being left in cars. Even with the windows cracked, Huntsville Animal Services told WAAY 31 the inside of car can become dangerously hot in a matter of minutes. Putting a pet's life in danger.

Karen Buchan with Huntsville Animal Services sees this situation frequently in the summer, "we get calls at least once a week," said Buchan.

Seeing heat rise up from sidewalks is a warning sign that inside of a car, "it's like an oven and that temperature can rise to 100-110 within 5-10 minutes," said Buchan.

Because animals don't sweat, in minutes that can lead to, "heat exhaustion, or heat stroke and the animal can die from this and it can happen," said Buchan.

The first thing you should do is call 911, or animal services. If you want to take it a step further and rescue the pet, you do that at your own risk.

The Limestone County Sheriffs Office told WAAY 31 there is no legal protection for people who would smash a car window and you could be sued by the owner of the car.

If you are going to take on the legal responsibility of smashing a window to save an animal, a junk yard in Huntsville told WAAY 31 you need to take some safety precautions. You need to look away from the window and cover your eyes before smashing it.

If you call animal services, and they see the animal in a life or death situation, the owner can face consequences, "it's a situation where the dog could die a person can be charged with animal cruelty," said Buchan.

Which is why their advice is, "if you do have to take your dog with you have somebody with you so they can stay in the car with the AC on," said Buchan.

In the past, the Alabama Legislature has considered adding legal protections for people who rescue animals by smashing a car window.

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