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The original item was published from 8/11/2015 8:45:33 AM to 8/26/2015 12:00:01 AM.

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Bristol News

Posted on: August 11, 2015

[ARCHIVED] It’s Hot Out! Don’t Leave Pets in the Car

The forecast for the next few days is hot, hot, and hot! That is when pets are at most risk. Every year, hundreds of pets die from heat exhaustion because they are left in parked vehicles.
Never leave your pets in a parked car, not even for a minute. On a warm day temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. On an 85-degree day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the window open slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees. Your pet may suffer irreversible organ damage or die.

“According to the ASPCA, pets most at risk for overheating are young, elderly or overweight animals, those with short muzzles and those with thick or dark-colored coats,” said Bristol Tennessee Police Department’s Lt. Walter Brown. “If your pet is outside for a long period of time, make sure your shade source is adequate for the highest temperature of the day. Watch for signs of overheating, such as heavy panting, excessive thirst, glazed eyes, staggering, excessive drooling, and bright or dark red tongue and gums.”

Persons leaving an animal in their car may be charged with Cruelty to Animals under Tennessee Code Annotated 39-14-202 - Section A-4. “If you see an animal locked in a car and feel that the dog is in immediate danger call 911 immediately. If you feel that the animal is in immediate danger you may forcibly enter the vehicle and remove the animal once you have notified local emergency agency of your intent to enter the vehicle. You are immune to civil liability under TCA 29-34-209,” continued Lt. Brown. “Or the police department may make entry to rescue the dog upon arrival.”

If you see an animal in a car on a hot day call 911, try to locate the owner and stay near the vehicle until help arrives.

For the full statute text please go to: and look under the Bristol News tab.

For more information contact Lt. Walter Brown at 423-989-5600 or email

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