Watch out for your pets with temperatures on the rise

Published 11:48 pm Saturday, June 18, 2022

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With the warmer temperatures here, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office is reminding our community that leaving a pet in a vehicle for even a short period of time can be deadly.

Pet owners often take their pets on rides with them, and many pets enjoy riding in vehicles. With the onset of the warmer temperatures, the sheriff’s office reminds the community that leaving their pet unattended in a vehicle for even a brief period can be disastrous and even deadly. Per the American Veterinary Medical Association, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise almost 20 degrees in as little as 10 minutes. This means even a “quick trip” inside the store can be dangerous for pet left in vehicles, even with external temperatures of only 75 degrees. Cracking a window or parking in a shaded spot makes little to no difference on the temperature inside the vehicle. Signs of heatstroke can include heavy panting, glazed eyes, unsteadiness, vomiting, lethargy and even seizures. This can lead to organ damage and even death.

Here are some tips if you see a pet unattended inside a vehicle:

• If the vehicle is parked at a business, ask the business to make an announcement to locate the owner.

• If the pet appears in distress, immediately call your local law enforcement agency for assistance.

• Do not attempt to break into the vehicle yourself. This is considered illegal as citizens are not given protection under the law.

• Allow law enforcement officers, firefighters or rescue squad workers to do their job as outlined in North Carolina General Statute 14-363.3.

• Do not confront the pet owner yourself, as this may escalate the situation. Instead, take notes and be a good eyewitness to relay the facts when first responders arrive on scene.

Anyone with information related to pets left in vehicles, animal cruelty or any criminal activity should contact the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office directly on the non-emergency number at 336-727-2112; anonymously text information, photos and video via Text-A-Tip at 336-920-8477; or anonymously call Crimestoppers at 336-727-2800 for English or 336-728-3904 for Spanish. To report information concerning juvenile behavior or to request juvenile intervention resources, call the Juvenile Intervention and Investigation Team (JIIT) number at 336-917-7030; you may remain anonymous.