CEDAR CITY — The Cedar City Police Department released a statement Wednesday regarding a circulating Facebook post that admonishes citizens to break car windows if they see an animal locked in a hot car.
“This post originated in England and is not the policy of any local law enforcement,” the statement said. “We do NOT advocate breaking someone else’s car windows.”
Any citizen who sees an animal locked in a car and feels the animal is in danger is asked to call their local police dispatch, according to the statement, and have an animal control officer or police officer respond and assess the situation.
“We remind everyone during hot weather, it is extremely dangerous to leave animals in your car for any length of time,” the statement said.
The Human Society of the United States reminds pet owners that leaving pets locked in a car during warm weather can be deadly, and high temperatures can cause irreparable organ damage or death.
Tips from the Humane Society on what to do if you see a pet left in a hot car:
- Take down the car’s make, model and license plate number
- If there are businesses nearby, notify their managers or security guards and ask them to make an announcement to find the car’s owner
- If the owner can’t be found, call the nonemergency number of the local police or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive
On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, according to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; on a 90-degree day, a car’s interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.
Animals can suffer brain damage and even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes, according to PETA. Dogs are particularly vulnerable to heat, as they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads.
Signs of heatstroke in animals:
- Excessive thirst
- Thick saliva
- Heavy panting
- Lack of appetite
- Dark tongue
- Rapid heartbeat
- Bloody diarrhea
- Lack of coordination
What to do:
- Get the animal out of the heat immediately, preferably into an air-conditioned vehicle
- Get the animal to a veterinarian right away
- If you can’t transport the animal to a vet, get it into an air-conditioned space and call animal control; tell them it is an emergency
- Provide water for the animal to drink
- If possible, spray the animal with a garden hose or immerse it in a tub of cool (but not iced) water for up to two minutes to gradually lower the body temperature; you can also place the animal in front of an electric fan
- Applying cool, wet towels to the groin area, stomach, chest and paws can help lower body temperature
- NOTE: Be careful not to use ice or cold water, and don’t over-cool the animal
- Nonemergency dispatch phone numbers:
- Cedar City: 435-586-9445
- Hurricane City Police: 435-627-4999
- Iron County: 435-867-7550
- Kane County: 435-644-2349
- St. George Police: 435-627-4300
- Washington County: 435-634-5730
- Heat can kill, getting lost can be fatal; how to survive the heat, be found when you’re lost or in distress
- Cedar City man arrested after leaving baby in hot car
- Elsa’s owner gets jail time, can no longer own animals; SUU starts disciplinary review
- $1,000 reward offered in case of shot, dumped animals
- Baby dies after being left inside vehicle in high temperatures
- Did you forget something? Don’t make this deadly summertime mistake
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