Southern Californians are being sent a renewed warning not to leave dogs in hot cars with a new PSA released Monday by the San Bernardino District Attorney's Office.
Animals can suffer long term health effects like brain damage or death in under 15 minutes, according to Claudia Swing, coordinator for the San Bernardino County Animal Cruelty Task Force.
Swing said dogs can't release their body heat like people do when they sweat. Instead, dogs regulate their body temperature by panting, and sweating through their paw pads, but a car doesn't provide them with enough fresh air.
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"Cars literally turn into ovens in a matter of moments, regardless of whether the windows are rolled down or not," Swing said.
In 80-degree weather, a car's internal temperature can rise to 102 degrees in 10 minutes, and 120 in about half an hour, according to the DA's office.
District Attorney Mike Ramos enlisted the help of "Buddy Dog" for a video that stresses the dangers of leaving animals in hot cars.
"The short video we released today is a humorous approach to a very serious topic," Ramos said. "That shouldn't change the overall message, though."
Although the public service announcement released Monday focuses on dangers to dogs, it is important to remember not to leave adults, children, or animals in parked cars.
People who see distressed animals left inside parked cars are encouraged to contact nearby security or local law enforcement, and should be prepared to give a description of the vehicle and its license plate number.