San Bernardino Police smashed the window of an SUV early Tuesday morning to rescue a chihuahua that was left unattended in a parked car outside the San Bernardino Court House.
The temperature inside the car reached 102 degrees by 9 a.m., which prompted officers to take quick action.
"We forced entry to the vehicle to save that animal from what we believe would have been ultimately death," said Sgt. Miguel Cintron.
With temperatures rising, officers warn the public about pet safety during high temperatures because they have noticed similar incidents in cities such as Riverside and Fontana, where dogs were also rescued from inside vehicles.
Police said leaving a pet unattended inside a car is a punishable offence, with the owner facing fines and possibly even jail time. Officers want to remind pet owners that cracking the window to a vehicle is not an acceptable alternative.
"The myth of leaving the windows partly open or cracked does absolutely nothing because there is no ventilation in this kind of heat so its like an oven," Cintron said.
Animal Services says that if a dog is left in a hot car, it may not show signs of heat exhaustion at first and that it could come hours later.