Ask a Trooper August 2, 2017

Question: I noticed a dog that was in a vehicle the other day at a local business parking lot and the occupants were not around. I was wondering what I should have done. With the recent warm weather, I can imagine the temperature inside the car must have been danger- ously high for that dog. Is there a law against this?
Answer: There is a law that a person may not leave a dog or a cat unattended in a stand- ing or parked motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the pet’s health or safety. A peace officer, a humane agent, a dog warden, or a volunteer or pro- fessional member of a fire or rescue department may use reasonable force to enter a motor vehicle and remove a dog or cat in this situation.
If you see an unattended pet in a vehicle, report this to law enforcement with a location and vehicle description.
I would advise pet owners to use caution and always look out for your pet’s well-being
and safety. Consider the fol- lowing options:
• Leave your pet at home whenever possible.
• Arrange to have someone stay in the vehicle with the pet with the engine and air condi- tioner running.
• Check with the business, as they may allow you to bring in your pet while shopping.
Please do not leave your pet unattended in a vehicle, even for a short period as it could cause a serious medical condi- tion or death to your pet.