We love our pets. Our furry (or feathered!) little buddies give us companionship, love, and fun, so it's only fair to treat them with the upmost respect.

Woman hugging her dog
Credit: Canva

Some love their pets more than others, and can't spend a second away from the, so they'll become travel buddies. Unfortunately, not every establishment loves having pets, and some people will make the stupid and dangerous decision of leaving their companion in their car.

I had the pleasure to talk with Officer Schultz at the Nancy J. Brua Animal Care Center, and gain a better understanding of the problems and consequences that come when you make that decision.

What Happens if You Leave Your Pet in a Car in Arizona?

A dog laying in the backseat of a car
Credit: Canva

While you may have the best intentions, leaving your pet in a car for even five minutes could be catastrophic. When left off, the interior of a car can reach 10 to 20 degrees hotter than the outside, turning a brisk 70 degrees into a sweltering 90. Animal's bodies re usually not built o take that amount of heat, and will likely perish if left in the car for more than an hour.

You may think, "well that's okay, I leave my car and A/C on" WRONG AGAIN! If a car is left running, your pet may accidentally shift the gear into drive or reverse, which is dangerous not just for the now-NASCAR driver pet, but for anyone in the immediate vicinity.

Dog driving a car in a puffer jacket
Credit: Canva

If the NJBACC is called to investigate an animal locked in a car, they have two options:

1. If the animal is clearly not in distress, a pamphlet will be left on the car, warning the owner that the action is illegal and they may face legal consequences if it happens again. or...

2. If the animal is clearly in distress, the center will rescue the animal, take them to the shelter, and alert the authorities.

Police Cars
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Once the authorities are involved, the owner will be charged with Animal Cruelty, which carries a two-year prison sentence for first time offenders.

What happens if YOU See an Animal Locked in a Car?

While the Animal Care Center does their best to help every animal that needs it, they can't be everywhere at once. Luckily, Arizona falls under the "Good Samaritan" law, which allows common citizens to break windows or otherwise damage cars with no consequence to rescue an animal locked in a car.

Man about to break a car window with a pipe
Credit: Canva

If you love your pet, you'll understand that sometimes, they need to be left home for their own safety. Thank you for looking out for our community and safely caring for your pets.

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