|Date Issued:||Jun 12, 2012 - 8:10am|
Alarming increase in pets left in vehicles prompts Washoe County Regional Animal Services to hold "Hot Car" media demonstration
Director, Regional Animal Services
Office: (775) 328-2142
Cell: (775) 530-2774
An alarming increase in “Dog in Hot Vehicle” reports over last spring has compelled Washoe County Regional Animal Services to remind pet owners that leaving a pet in an enclosed vehicle, even for a short time, can be a deadly oversight.
In May of 2012, dispatchers received 68 high priority calls for dogs left in an enclosed vehicle during hot temperatures. This is over five times the number reported during May of 2011, when there were 13 calls for dogs in vehicles.
So far there have been no pet fatalities as a result of pets being left in hot cars, and Washoe County Regional Animal Services staff would like to keep it that way.
“This is a disturbing increase and we want to make sure pet owners understand that confining your dog or cat to the inside of a car, even on a mild day, places your pet in a life threatening situation,” Regional Animal Services Manager Barry Brode said.
“When it gets to the point where an animal’s well-being is threatened, Animal Control Officers will take the necessary steps, as obligated by the law, to save an endangered animal by removing it from the vehicle. Even if they have to break a window to do it,” Brode said. “Our goal is to prevent this from happening by getting this important message out to the public now.”
Regional Animal Services will hold a “hot car” demonstration for the media at 1:00 p.m. this Wednesday, June 13. A thermometer will be used to illustrate how quickly the temperature in a vehicle rises to dangerous and deadly levels.
WHAT: Demonstration of the extreme danger faced by pets in enclosed vehicles
WHEN: 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, June 13, 2012
WHERE: Washoe County Regional Animal Services, 2825-A Longley Lane, Reno
CONTACT: Bob Harmon, (775) 722-5517
Temperatures inside a closed automobile can easily rise to 20 degrees or warmer than outside temperatures. This could prove deadly to a pet.
“Even a short trip can include delays that endanger your pet’s safety,” Brode said. “Your best bet is to leave your pet at home. It takes only a few minutes on a warm day for animals to succumb to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.”
Nevada Revised Statutes 574.195 is aimed at the prevention of cruelty to animals and makes it illegal for a person to “allow a cat or dog to remain unattended in a parked or standing motor vehicle during a period of extreme heat or cold or in any other manner that endangers the health or safety of the cat or dog.”
The law also allows that designated responders “may use any force that is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances to remove from a motor vehicle a cat or dog that is allowed to remain in the motor vehicle in violation of subsection 1.”
The public is encouraged to report distressed animals locked in hot cars immediately by contacting Washoe County Regional Animal Services dispatch at (775) 322-3647.
The Washoe County Sheriff's Office celebrated 150 years of proud service and community partnership in 2011. Sheriff Michael Haley is the 25th person elected to serve as the Sheriff of Washoe County. His office continues to be the only full service public safety agency operating within northern Nevada and is responsible for operating the consolidated detention facility, regional crime lab, Northern Nevada Counter Terrorism Center, Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, court security, service of civil process, traditional street patrols and Regional Animal Services.