Dogs Trapped in Hot Cars
The Sacramento SPCA is Helping Keep Pets Safe

Blog Post

As the Sacramento region heads into an extremely hot week, one local animal welfare organization is taking action to help animals left in hot cars. The Sacramento SPCA is providing thermometers to all animal control officers in Sacramento County in an effort to prevent animals from suffering and dying in hot cars and to hold those who caused this suffering accountable.

Each year police and animals control officers in our community respond to hundreds of calls about animals – most often dogs – left in hot cars. These are reported by Good Samaritans who hear the animals crying for help or, in the worst cases, notice an animal that has passed out or stopped breathing. California law now allows these Good Samaritans to break into the vehicle under certain circumstances.

“We need the community to know that there are consequences to leaving an animal in a car – no matter the reason,” said Kenn Altine, CEO of the Sacramento SPCA. “The consequences for the animal are horrific,” he said, “but too often the person is not held accountable.”

Altine said the thermometers, which are certified tested and calibrated, will allow the animal control officers to accurately capture the ambient air temperature in the vehicle as part of their evidence collection.

“By having a reliable and accurate recording of the temperature using a certified thermometer, we can better hold the people accountable for their actions,” said Sacramento County DDA Hilary Bagley-Franzoia. The Sacramento County District Attorney handles cases of animals left in cars.

They’ve already had several cases this year, including an animal who was left in a car where the temperature reached 130 degrees, causing the animal to have seizures, neuropathy and to bleed through its skin and paws. Forty-five minutes after the animal was freed from the car, its internal temperature was still 108 degrees (normal body temperature for dogs and cats is 101 to 102.5 degrees).


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