With temperatures expected to rise into the nineties this weekend, Animal Services wants to remind pet owners that leaving a pet in an enclosed and unattended vehicle with the windows just a few inches down, even for a short time, can be deadly.
“It’s early in the summer and we’re already seeing a disturbing increase in calls about pets in vehicles,” Washoe County Animal Services Director Barry Brode said. “We want to make sure pet owners understand that confining your pet inside a car, even on a mild day, places your pet in a life threatening situation.”
Brode said even a short trip can include delays that endanger a pet’s safety.
“It takes only a few minutes on a warm day for animals to succumb to heat exhaustion or heat stroke,” he said. “Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can easily rise to 20 plus degrees or warmer than outside temperatures in a short time period. Your best bet is to leave your pet at home.”
Brode said that when it gets to the point where an animal’s well-being is threatened, Animal Control Officers will take the necessary steps, as obligated by the law, to save an endangered animal by removing it from the vehicle. Even if they have to break a window to do it.
“Our goal is to prevent this from happening by getting this important message out to the public now,” Brode said.
The public is encouraged to report distressed animals locked in hot cars immediately by contacting Washoe County Regional Animal Services dispatch at 775-322-3647.
The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office celebrated 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 25th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Regional Intelligence Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process, traditional street patrols and Regional Animal Services.
Miriam Hodgman is originally from San Francisco. She previously was the communications coordinator for the largest hunger-relief organization in Sonoma County, California. She has a bachelor’s degree in American history, with a minor in American Indian studies, from San Francisco State University, and has a master’s degree in public administration from Sonoma State University. She enjoys training a variety of martial arts.