Animal control officers are urging pet owners to think twice before leaving your pet in a hot car. Even if a car is in the shade with the windows cracked, it can be deadly for a cat or dog.
Officers rescued 6-month-old Benji from a hot car Monday afternoon.
Officer Rand Hallman found him on the floor panting. The window to the blue sedan was open by a couple of inches, so he checked the temperature inside the vehicle.
"Within about ten minutes the temperature went from about 90 to 105 degrees inside the car," Hallman said.
Benji appeared to be in medical distress, so Hallman took him to the veterinarian for the night before the driver of the car could claim him.
He cited her a $257 ticket. For severe cases, it could be a misdemeanor or a class C felony.
Animal Control Officer Mary Ellen Wood rescued two dogs from a hot car on an upper 70-degree day, a rescue captured on camera by a KING 5 viewer.
"My thermometer showed me it was about 98 inside," said Wood.
When she saw the dogs in distress, she asked Seattle Police to help break the window.
They were panting and trying to hide under the seat trying to get out of the sun.
"Pets aren't able to regulate their body temperature like humans," said Seattle Animal Shelter Logistics Manager Don Baxter. "They don't sweat. They have to pant. And when they're panting they're taking in the hot air in the vehicle and their temperature continues to increase."
Wood showed KING 5 how they check the interior temperature of a vehicle with a thermometer.
"A lot of times people will leave their pets in their car," said Wood, while showing a window that was cracked about two inches. "They'll crack it this much and they think it's enough to ventilate."
In less than ten minutes Tuesday afternoon, it shot up to 106 degrees inside while it was just 80 degrees outside.
After rescuing the pets, the officers then have to deal with some heated tempers as well.
"There's a lot of emotions around a call like that," said Wood. "Both from the passersby that call us, the owners that show up."