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Officials warn against leaving pets in cars
by TOM BUSSELBERG
Jun 05, 2014 | 1498 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Small dog - file photo
Small dog - file photo
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FRUIT HEIGHTS —  What might seem like a comfortable 72 degree temperature outside can translate to a hot 95 degrees in a car – and that’s supposing two windows are cracked open.

If a dog is left in a car at 9:30 a.m.  and those temperatures are in play, it could get to 88 degrees outside and 105 degrees inside by noon, and 99 degrees outside and 109 degrees within a car.

Such conditions aren’t good for the animal and could mean a citation for an animal owner, said Clint Thacker, Davis County Animal Care & Control Division Director.

“We take zero tolerance” when it comes to animals being left in hot vehicles, he said. Calls had been received from the public by late May alerting the division to such situations.

An animal control officer is dispatched to the scene and if he or she believes it’s warranted, will issue a citation or notice of violation.

If necessary, the officer will stay on scene until the owner is notified and present, or may take other measures to get the animal out of that situation, Thacker said.

 Lead Animal Control Officer Rod Logan said you and your animal friends can enjoy the “dog days” of summer by not leaving your animals in a parked car, for any length of time.

“You would think this is a ‘no brainer’ situation,” Logan said. “But, it happens two or three times a day here in the county. We know, because we respond to the calls.”

Last year, more than 150 cruelty calls were reported to the shelter from June 1-Aug. 31. Most of those cases involve animals in vehicles.

If you are an animal owner who has left your dog or pet for “just a minute” in a car, be aware, this is considered a form of Animal Cruelty in the state. A prosecution can be made on a felony level, Thacker said.

“If you leave your animal in your vehicle, you will receive a citation for animal cruelty,” he said. Citations can be up to $150 as a Class B misdemeanor.

If you see an animal left in a car, even for a short period, or with the windows cracked, report this to law enforcement and/or Davis County Animal Care and Control at 801-444-2200. 

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