Regional Animal Services, SPCA urge Nevadans not to leave pets in hot cars

Those who do so can be fined more than $600
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 11:04 AM PDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The Washoe County Regional Animal Services and the Northern Nevada SPCA are urging Nevadans not to leave their pets in hot cars as the summer season approaches.

They say animals should not be left in a hot car when outside temperatures reach 60 degrees or more.

“Dogs don’t have the ability to cool their bodies the same way humans do,” said Jill Vacchina Dobbs, SPCA-NN Executive Director. “A pet can quickly suffer brain damage or die from heatstroke or suffocation within a matter of minutes. Leaving a pet in your vehicle with the intention of coming right back could prove deadly for the animal.”

WCRAS says they receive more than 600 calls a year of pets being locked inside cars during the warmer seasons, especially during the summer.

They say studies show the inside of a car can reach 120 degrees even on a 70-degree day with the window cracked open. When outside temperatures reach 90 degrees, the inside of a car can reach 120 degrees in just 10 minutes, which can prove deadly to the animal.

“When it gets to the point where an animal’s well-being is threatened, animal services will take the necessary steps, as obligated by the law, to save an endangered animal by removing it from the vehicle, including breaking a car window if necessary,” said Shyanne Shull, Director at Washoe County Regional Animal Services. “Our goal is to prevent this from happening by getting this important message out to the public now as the weather warms up.”

Leaving a pet inside a car during hot weather is also illegal and can lead to a fine of over $600.

Anyone who sees an animal in distress inside a car must call WCRAS at 775-322-3647.