BROOKINGS – One dog has died after being left in a hot vehicle, and Brookings Police have issued a warning to not leave animals in vehicles during the heat wave or owners could face charges.
Assistant Chief Derrick Powers reported the police have received several reports of animals being left in vehicles during the 90-degree heat and high humidity the area has been experiencing lately.
“I know there’s been at least four instances in the last three or four days … where we’ve received reports or come across this,” he said. “Especially with some of the heat that we’ve had, it doesn’t take long for it to have an effect on an animal that’s left in a vehicle. It’s much warmer in there than it is outside.”
He also noted the animals’ fur makes it even hotter for them.
“Even with windows cracked, it gets much hotter in the vehicle than it is outside,” Powers said.
“Don’t leave your dogs in (your) vehicles in this heat,” he warned, adding it’s better if animals are left home in the air conditioning.
One dog did die on Sunday.
“We received a call of a dog that was left in the car unattended in the 200 block of Fourth Street. It was found that the dog had died as a result of being left in that car and the heat exposure,” Powers said.
“I know that there was another instance when our officers went in and removed the dog and took it to the animal shelter. We can do that if we determine that the owner isn’t immediately available and the animal is in distress,” Powers said, adding officers can also take the animal to a veterinarian if they think the dog needs medical care.
Leaving an animal in a hot vehicle can result in charges for the owner, he added.
“Charges can come of that … there may be charges forthcoming for neglect of an animal,” Powers said.
“We just want to warn people to not leave their dogs unattended in their vehicles during this heat. It certainly isn’t safe for people’s animals,” Powers said. “We don’t want to see any more of these instances.”
Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]