NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The hot temperatures outside mean the temperature in your car is even hotter. Officials say it doesn't matter if you park in the sun or the shade or leave your windows up or down, the inside of your car can still get dangerously hot.
"We get calls almost daily about dogs being left in cars," said Stephan Watson, with the Animal Services Unit. "Just last weekend, there were 12 to 15 calls about dogs being left in cars." New Hanover County Communications says they've gotten a lot of calls to check on dogs left in cars this summer, including one on Friday.
"A dogs normal body temperature is 101 to 102, if a car is 120 degrees it will raise their body temperature to cause brain damage or even death," explained Watson. He says it doesn't take that long for a car to heat up. He put a thermometer inside of a car, and after 10 minutes it was already up to 120 degrees.
"Dog's can't sweat or process heat like we can," explained Watson. It's not just dogs, Dispatch says they've also gotten calls about children either left or accidentally locked in cars.
"They can't handle the heat, not for any amount of time," said Sgt. Jerry Brewer with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office. He says many times people don't think they will stay in a store as long as they do and lose track of time.
"People will be in the store five minutes, and then think, oh I need milk or I need eggs, and before you know it it's been 20 minutes," said Brewer. He says officers don't patrol locked cars, so if people see an animal or child in trouble, they should call for help.
"If you see something, say something," explained Brewer.
You can also face criminal charges for leaving a child or animal in a car. If you leave your pet in your vehicle you could potentially get animal cruelty charges or be cited for health and welfare violations.
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