Dogs left in cars during summer's heat can get you a citation for animal cruelty

LEWISTON, ID - Saturday marked the first day of summer, which means triple digit days are no longer a thing of the past.

However for pet owners it's not only important for you to stay cool but also for your four-legged friends. We all know the feeling, climbing into a hot car that has been parked underneath the sun on a sticky June day. And for animals that feeling is a whole lot worse.

"Dogs really can't control their temperature at all beside panting," said Lewiston Animal Control Officer Doug Willey. "When they get too warm they can get brain damage and possibly die."

Which is why even just a quick trip could mean trouble for you and your pet.

"If there's no wind to cycle the heat through the car, it can heat the cars up petty fast," said Willey. "Even with the windows down six to eight inches.

It's 73 degrees outside right now and this truck is partially parked in the shade. However when I aim, it's reading at 101 degrees.

"Windows down about two inches and inside the car right now is 139," said Willey.

And because of just how hot a car can get, citations for animal abuse are common during summertime.

"Especially when it starts getting warmer in the day, we start getting complaints about people leaving their dogs in vehicles," said Willey. "We will investigate it and if the result of our investigation thinks that somebody should be cited for it, it is under the animal cruelty code and it is a misdemeanor."

A dog can withstand a body temperature of 107 to 108 for a very short time before suffering brain damage or even death. Animal control advises you to call the police if you see an animal that is ever being abused.