Police warn pet owners not to leave animals in hot cars

BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - As temperatures rise, a reminder to not leave pets in your car.

The Bangor Police Department got about 1,200 animal related calls last year.

Trisha Bruen is the Animal Control Officer, she responds to many of these calls.

She says if you see a dog in a car, do NOT break the window. You will be held legally responsible if you do.

Instead, ask yourself a few questions. Is the dog panting, drooling or unresponsive?

If so, you should call the police department immediately.

If the dog is sitting in a car with the window down or air conditioning on go inside and get your errands done.

If you come out after half an hour and the dog is still there, or it looks to be in distress call police.

Owners who plan to spend time running errands are advised to leave their dogs at home.

If you do leave them for a quick trip inside, leave a note for passerby.

Bruen says, "If you have a note that says, I'll be out at 10:15 and it's 10:05 well it's only 10 more minutes. Maybe it's not that hot out, maybe the windows are down enough. If the dog is not in distress, the dog will probably be fine for 10 more minutes. If you see the sign say I'll be back at 10:15 and it's 10:30 and the dog doesn't look like it's in very good shape, obviously we want you to call, obviously we want to help the dog."

Bangor police say animal safety is extremely important to them, so never hesitate to call. But, observe and assess the situation before you do.