The Hot Springs Police Department, which operates the Hot Springs Animal Shelter, is asking the public to exercise caution with their pets during this summer’s extreme heat.
Hot Springs police Sgt. Joey Williams the most basic mistake most people make is simply leaving their animals out in hot weather.
“We wouldn’t do it to ourselves or anything else like that. Even running to the store for a few minutes and putting your dog, cat, or animal in a locked vehicle with the windows up (is dangerous). Even if it’s 70 degrees (the car’s internal temperature) will climb rapidly in the sun,” Williams said.
And while it may be the “dog days of summer,” Williams cautioned against taking pets out in a vehicle when the area is under a heat advisory. Unless the vehicle is left running, leaving an animal inside of a vehicle is never a good idea and could lead to criminal charges.
“(People that leave an animal in a hot car) can face criminal charges. Animal cruelty can be a misdemeanor or felony in the state of Arkansas. What determines misdemeanor and felony is intent. … You can face some serious charges and up to a year in jail,” he said.
The National Weather Service says that while it will not be as hot Thursday as in recent days, heat index values will range from 100 to 105 degrees in central and southern sections of the state.