Leaving pets locked in a hot car may soon become illegal in Michigan

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Leaving pets locked in a car while the temperatures outside rise may soon become illegal in Michigan.

Legislation introduced in the state senate would make it a felony to keep an animal unattended in a hot car.

If the pet is not injured, first offenders could receive a fine of up to 350 dollars. If the animal dies, the offender could receive up to five years in jail or a fine of 5,000 dollars.

Natalie Francis is the Executive Director of the Huron Humane Society in Alpena County.

“The main safety issue obviously, is just the temperature. Temperatures of vehicles heat up extremely fast, say if it’s outside temperatures about 75, inside within ten minutes can be about 100. And within 30 minutes can go up to 130.”

Francis said to always leave pets at home if they will be in the car alone at any point.

“The hotter it is outside obviously the hotter it is inside. Even if you have your windows cracked the animal is still in the hot sun and it is comparable to being in a hot oven, so to speak. Not only do they get dehydrated quickly but their brain capacity starts to shut down as well.”

The bill is currently in the senate judiciary committee.