Pets left in hot cars can die in a matter of minutes - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Pets left in hot cars can die in a matter of minutes

(WTVM) -

Hot temperatures around the south have animal advocates urging pet owners to not forget your four-legged friends in the car.

It only takes a few minutes for a pet to succumb to heat stroke or suffocation in a hot car.

Heavy panting, rapid breathing, and staggering are all signs of heat stress in pets.

Thomas County Animal Control has already received several calls about pets in cars so far this summer.

"Some of these calls came in, well I know they've been in the store 20 minutes, 25 minutes," said Pat Smith, director of the Thomas County Animal Control. "And they start to get frantic, but if you see something like that call 911. Get the make and model. Get the location of the vehicle."

If your pet is injured because you leave it in a hot car, you could be arrested for animal cruelty.

Copyright 2013 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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