LOGAN – Logan City Animal Control is concerned about the number of dogs being left in hot cars and they tell residents to “not wait” on calling animal control.
“I definitely see it as a problem,” said Officer Bryce Skinner, “especially in the summer as temperatures get really hot.”
Skinner said they have been taught that, inside a vehicle, temperatures can go up 20-30 degrees, even with windows partially down. Rolling down the windows for your dog is not enough.
“If you don’t take precautions to park in the shade or give your dog some water, the dog could end up in poor shape,” Skinner added.
Just this past Thursday, Skinner responded to a call. When he arrived the dog was exhausted, panting, and couldn’t lift his head up.
“Another 20-30 minutes in the car and that dog would have been dead,” he said.
The owners were driving through and stopped at a busy diner for lunch. Skinner said he went into the restaurant to find the dog’s owners and waited until he saw them give their dog some water.
“When I advised the owner of the situation, they thought it was a joke,” Skinner said.
Logan City does not have any city ordinances that prohibit people from leaving dogs in cars.
“We could charge someone with animal cruelty if it gets bad enough, but it’s kind of a fine line to cross,” Skinner said. “We’d rather just not have people leave their dogs in the car.”
Skinner encourages people to not wait if they see a dog alone in a car on a hot day.
“Don’t wait because we don’t know how long the vehicle has been there. Anybody who sees a dog in a vehicle needs to call us immediately and get us involved.”
Skinner advised that people with pets should try coming up with an alternative plan before leaving the house. If it can’t be avoided, Skinner said to take the time to park in the shade, even if that means walking a bit further to your destination. He also said to leave water for your dog in the car.
A misunderstanding of the severity of the problem is what Skinner runs into when reporting on calls.
“Maybe things take longer than they were expecting, and they thought their dog would be okay, but it’s not safe.”