Leaving pets in car during summer days can be deadly

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Summer in East Tennessee, can be a fun time for many pets and their owners. During the summer we see more people out and about with their pets. It is tempting to bring your pet everywhere with you but you should never leave your pet in the car alone in the summer heat.

When it is 80 degrees outside, the inside of your car can reach over 100 degrees in a matter of minutes, even with the windows cracked. This happens because what is known as the greenhouse effect. The heat gets trapped inside the car and gets absorbed; creating different wavelengths that do not exit back through the car windows. So that quick trip into the store or bank can cost your pet her life. Cats and dogs cannot cool themselves down as easily as people; once they overheat they can suffer from extensive organ damage quickly that can lead to death. So it is best to leave your pet at home where she can remain cool and hydrated.

Tennessee joined 16 other states last year with laws in place to protect animals left in hot cars. The law, which took effect July 1, 2015, extends the states’ Good Samaritan law to pets too. It protects individuals from liability to damages caused while trying to rescue a child or animal in danger. If you are out and you see an animal trapped in a hot cat, you should immediately call animal control. Do not leave until help as arrived. You should also notify the managers of the nearby businesses so they can make an announcement. Remember, just a few minutes is all it takes.