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Arizona Humane Society reminds owners not to leave pets in cars

PHOENIX — With excessive heat warnings around the state, the Arizona Humane Society wants to remind people to never leave pets inside cars this time of year, no matter how long.

“On a day when its about 90 degrees, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach over 100 degrees in just minutes,” said Ashliegh Goebel of the Arizona Humane Society.

On Monday in Phoenix, a 1-year-old pit bull mix named Raider died after being left in a hot SUV outside Christown Spectrum Mall near 19th Avenue and Bethany Home Road.

The dog was left inside a vehicle on a day when temperatures in Phoenix tied heat records, and Goebel said that when crews arrived to try to help, the dog was already deceased. Raider’s internal body temperature had risen higher than what the crew’s thermometers could measure, topping 110 degrees, Goebel said.

Goebel said it’s one of the most difficult aspects of doing her job.

“I think the most heartbreaking (cases) are the ones of dogs that are locked in cars,” she said. “I can only imagine what that poor dog went through.”

With excessive temperatures expected to continue, Goebel said never, ever leave a pet inside a car.

“If it’s too hot for use to be in a car, in a parking lot with no shade … it’s too hot for an animal,” she said.

Goebel also wants to remind people with outdoor pets to make sure there is plenty of shade and water for animals who are taking on the elements.

If an animal starts to show signs of heat stress, such as heavy panting, glazed eyes or vomiting, Goebel said the best thing to do is to apply water to the pet’s head and body.

Goebel said to also give the outdoor pet small amounts of water to drink — but not too much or it could cause the animal to go into shock.