Lewiston Police Department Code Enforcement Officer Janie Schaefer said she wrote a few citations to those who left dogs in their car last summer.
Officer Schaefer says there are misconceptions regarding how fast cars can heat up under the summer sun
“Usually its folks who go into a store and when they get out, they say they were only in there for 10 minutes, and on a day like today all it takes is five,” said Schaefer.
Schaefer says on a 90-degree day, under ten minutes the inside of a car can reach 109 degrees.
“And that doesn’t account for the temperature of the dog,” Schaefer said. “The ambient temperature can be 109, but when we measure the dog’s temperature it’s gonna be a lot higher.”
If you have to leave your dog in the car, Schaefer suggests it would be better to leave the air conditioning on, make sure there’s a lot of water, and return under five minutes. But when it comes to the most effective precaution to take on a hot day:
“Leave it at home if you have the ability to,” said Schaefer.
Even with cracked windows, interior temperatures jump quick. Schaefer demonstrated by taking the temperature of her truck after only 10 minutes of direct sunlight. Even with the windows cracked open, temperatures reached more than 96 degrees. Schaefer says that’s way too hot for dogs to survive.
In case a person sees a dog inside a hot car, he is not permitting to intervene himself by the law but he can call the police and stay on the scene until they arrive to make sure the police identified the vehicle.
If necessary, the police have the authority to break your window. You’ll be stuck with the bill and potential a misdemeanor. Leaving an animal in a hot car can violate the city’s animal cruelty/animal neglect code.