Police urge pet owners to leave animals at home
EPPING — Police are urging pet owners to leave their pooches at home the next time they head out to the store in the summer heat.
“The weather we've been having, where it's 85 to 90 degrees, don't take them with you. It's too dangerous,” said Epping police Sgt. Rich Cote.
Epping police have received complaints about dogs being left in parked vehicles on a daily basis now that warmer weather has arrived, Cote said.
In many cases, Cote said dog owners simply lose track of time and end up shopping around longer than they planned.
One day last week, Cote was flagged down in the parking lots outside PetSmart and Lowe's for dogs in vehicles.
Cote said police always check to see if the windows are down and whether the dogs are in distress. Even if the dogs appear to be OK, Cote said officers usually try to track down the owners to warn them about the dangers.
Dog owners need to realize that the complaints tie up officers who could be out looking for speeding motorists instead, said Cote, who is all too familiar with the dangers of leaving dogs in vehicles that can overheat in a matter of minutes.
He still remembers the call he received back in June 2004 when a pitbull was left in a car with no water and little air for several hours. While a window was partially open, the dog died when its body temperature climbed to over 110 degrees.
The plea to leave pets behind comes a few weeks after two dogs died in the heat when they were left in a parked car in Manchester. The owner, Matthew Allard, 34, is now facing animal cruelty charges.
Hampstead police also issued a summons to a dog owner last week after three dogs were left in a car in the heat, according to Hampstead Lt. John Frazier.
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