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In Sacramento’s high heat, dogs left in cars to be treated as emergencies

By DOMINIC GARCIA

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    SACRAMENTO (KOVR) — In this brutal heat, a big concern is pets — specifically when it comes to leaving them in hot cars.

When it comes to pets and this heat, Sacramento County officials want you to know they’re not messing around.

“In weather we’re having now and forecasted for the next two weeks, it’s going to be treated as an emergency,” Jessica Rorick said of situations where pets are left behind in hot vehicles.

Rorick is one of the people who responds to those calls. She’s the senior animal control officer for Sacramento County.

“It is against the law in California to leave your dog in a hot car, and depending on the condition of that animal, it could be punishable by a fine or criminal charges,” she said.

The county says they respond to around 50 calls a year for dogs stuck in hot cars.

“We’re seeing less of dogs being left in hot cars but something we see just driving around town is you’ll see people walking their dogs at noon, at 1 p.m., 2 p.m. when the ground is extremely hot,” said Luna Anona with county Animal Care Services.

“We do want to remind people to be mindful of temperatures on ground surfaces like sidewalks, asphalt, and even sand when walking dogs,” Anona added. “If it’s too hot for your bare feet, it’s too hot for theirs.”

If you happen to see a dog in a car, county officials say to call them first. If the situation is dire, then you are allowed to take it a step further.

“California law requires the citizen calls 911 to report the vehicle and report the pet, then they can break the window to bring the animal to safety without any legal repercussions,” Rorick said.

Leaving a pet in a hot car is a misdemeanor and could result in a fine. In a serious case, criminal charges could be pursued.

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