Within a half hour Eugene police officers responded to three phone calls of pets left in hot cars Tuesday evening. Police and animal services receive these phone calls almost daily in the summer but yesterday’s spike was unusual. Kelly Darnell, Eugene’s interim animal services manager reminds owners that vehicles can be dangerous places for pets this time of year.
Darnell: “If you’re taking your pet and the air conditioning’s on from kind of A to B and you’re getting out and doing things, you know, that’s fine. It’s really about people trying to run errands, even quick errands, with their pet in a hot car. In just a matter of minutes, an 85 degree day outside can then turn into 120 degrees inside of a vehicle.”
Leaving a pet in a hot vehicle is considered animal neglect and can result in a fine up to 500 dollars. Darnell also says pet owners should walk their dogs during the cooler morning and evening hours to avoid heat stroke and to keep them in the shade or near a fan during the day.