Animal Control warns pet owners of hot car dangers

Rapid City police rescued a child from a hot vehicle Monday; and arrested the child's guardian for felony child abuse. (MGN)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Sioux Falls Animal Control is reminding pet owners to be cautious with pets as the weather gets warmer.

Warm summer temperatures can create a dangerous situation for a pet left inside a parked vehicle. In a release, Animal Control stated that on a 70 degree day, the inside of a car can reach 110 degrees within an hour. A change of only a few degrees in a pet’s body temperature can lead to brain damage or death.

“The safest choice is to leave your pet at home,” said Animal Control Supervisor Julie DeJong. “If an owner leaves their pet in a hot car, they could be charged with animal cruelty or receive citations.”

Animal Control is working with local businesses to encourage pet owners to not leave their pets or kids in the car. Signs are available for local businesses to display near their entry areas. Businesses can contact Animal Control 605-367-7000 to get a sign for their business.

Animal Control is also encouraging the public to not break any window to retrieve a pet stuck in a warm car, as that action could result in vandalism or other charges. Instead, the public is urged to call Animal Control and give the dispatcher the vehicle description and license plate number.