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LPD: Less Reports of Dogs Left in Cars

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Police in Florida helped rescue this pooch from a hot car Monday morning. Someone spotted the dog, whose owner had stepped into a bank and that person called 911. After waiting about ten to 15 minutes for the owner to show up, police smashed the car’s window to free the dog and give it some water.

Boynton Beach police said the car’s engine was off and all the windows were rolled up. They said temperatures inside could have easily reached triple digits. Police later issued a stern warning on Facebook to other pet owners, saying it is “never okay to leave your pet in an unattended vehicle.”

But here in Lewiston, police and animal lovers are happy about one thing, it appears less people are leaving their dogs inside cars. Since May of this year, Lewiston police have received only 22 calls about dogs in hot cars. That number is lower than average, something they attribute to education efforts by animal control and other organizations.

Even with less people leaving their pet in the car, there are still myths floating around about the law. Animal Control Officer Doug Willey said he’s never had to rescue a dog from a hot car, and said while leaving an animal in the car could earn you a fine, so could breaking someone elses window to save an animal.

Officer Willey said, "It's an animal cruelty violation under city code, it's a misdemeanor and the fines determined by the court. We recommend you don't break windows out to get the dog out, usually an officer is there pretty fast You break a window you could be held criminally or civilly liable for the damages."

If you have to bring your pet with you, Willey advised leaving them at a friend’s home while you’re out and about. Many local veterinarians we spoke with say they do one-day boarding. Just call ahead to make sure they have room for your furry friend.

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