Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office explains consequences of leaving dogs in hot cars

EVERETT, Wash. — With warm weather finally here, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office answered some frequently asked questions about the consequences of leaving dogs in hot cars.

Even with the windows cracked open, animals can quickly heat up when left inside vehicles during warm temperatures.

It’s illegal to “leave or confine any animal unattended in a motor vehicle or enclosed space if the animal could be harmed or killed by exposure to excessive heat, cold, lack of ventilation, or lack of necessary water” (RCW 16.52.340), so leave your pets at home.

Those who see a pet left in a car and think they may be in danger should take note of the location and call 911, the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post.

If you’re considering breaking out a car window, the sheriff’s office said that’s never a good idea.

“Between the chances of the pet running away or being injured by broken glass, it could potentially make a bad situation worse. Also, you could be liable for any damage caused,” a post on the SCSO Facebook page said.

If you’re wondering about the K-9 officers riding around with deputies during hot weather, all SCSO vehicles have air conditioning.