Another Pet Owner Cited for Leaving Their Dog in a Hot Vehicle

Another Pet Owner Cited for Leaving Their Dog in a Hot Vehicle

As this information is being prepared for public release, we are responding to yet another call of a dog locked in a hot car, in the full sun. This is illegal, and owners will continue to be cited by our Officers if found to be in violation.

Shortly before 1:00PM this afternoon, a non-emergency call came into our dispatch center regarding a dog left in a parked truck. The concerned caller reported that the truck was not running and was in full sun. Our Officer was on scene in six minutes and noticed that all four windows were cracked about 3 inches. Our Officer noticed the dog was panting heavily, appeared to be over heated, and there was an empty water bowl next to it.  Animal Services arrived shortly after to check the dog, just as the owner came out of the store. Our Animal Services Officer used an infrared thermometer to read the temperature of the shaded floorboard on inside of the of the hot truck. With the current temperature at 93 degrees, the thermometer showed that floor was 109 degrees. The owner had been in the store at least 19 minutes, and the inside of their vehicle had reached 109 degrees, where they left their dog.

The owner removed their dog, “Riley”, out of their truck, and turned him over to our Animal Services Officer to be checked on. Riley was still panting heavily and immediately laid down on the cool cement in the shade. Riley drank all of the water we provided him.

In the state of California, the first offense for leaving your pet in a hot vehicle is an infraction under penal code 597.7. The owner was cited for the infraction, and after a careful inspection of the dog, the dog was turned back over to them. Any further violations of this section by this owner will become a misdemeanor due to today’s citation.

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you of some heat-related precautions due to the extreme heat we are and will be experiencing this summer:

-Never leave your loved one/pet in a parked vehicle in the heat.

-Stay hydrated and drink plenty of water.

-Stay inside, if possible, and limit outdoor activities.

-Wear light-colored and loose-fitted clothing.

-Never leave your loved one/pet in a parked vehicle in the heat.

We would also like to thank the concerned caller who took the time to report this. If you see a person or pet in a hot vehicle that appears to be in distress in Clovis, call us at (559) 324-2800.

For information on what your options are if you see a pet in a hot vehicle, and what the requirements are before you attempt to get them out, we’ve provided California penal code section 597.7 here:

597.7.
(a) A person shall not leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.

(b) (1) This section does not prevent a person from taking reasonable steps that are necessary to remove an animal from a motor vehicle if the person holds a reasonable belief that the animal’s safety is in immediate danger from heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.

(2) A person who removes an animal from a vehicle in accordance with paragraph (1) is not criminally liable for actions taken reasonably and in good faith if the person does all of the following:

(A) Determines the vehicle is locked or there is otherwise no reasonable manner for the animal to be removed from the vehicle.

(B) Has a good faith belief that forcible entry into the vehicle is necessary because the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm if it is not immediately removed from the vehicle, and, based upon the circumstances known to the person at the time, the belief is a reasonable one.

(C) Has contacted a local law enforcement agency, the fire department, animal control, or the “911” emergency service prior to forcibly entering the vehicle.

(D) Remains with the animal in a safe location, out of the elements but reasonably close to the vehicle, until a peace officer, humane officer, animal control officer, or another emergency responder arrives.

(E) Used no more force to enter the vehicle and remove the animal from the vehicle than was necessary under the circumstances.

(F) Immediately turns the animal over to a representative from law enforcement, animal control, or another emergency responder who responds to the scene.

(c) Unless the animal suffers great bodily injury, a first conviction for violation of this section is punishable by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100) per animal. If the animal suffers great bodily injury, a violation of this section is punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both a fine and imprisonment. Any subsequent violation of this section, regardless of injury to the animal, is also punishable by a fine not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding six months, or by both a fine and imprisonment.

(d) (1) This section does not prevent a peace officer, firefighter, humane officer, animal control officer, or other emergency responder from removing an animal from a motor vehicle if the animal’s safety appears to be in immediate danger from heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.

(2) A peace officer, firefighter, humane officer, animal control officer, or other emergency responder who removes an animal from a motor vehicle, or who takes possession of an animal that has been removed from a motor vehicle, shall take it to an animal shelter or other place of safekeeping or, if the officer deems necessary, to a veterinary hospital for treatment. The owner of the animal removed from the vehicle may be required to pay for charges that have accrued for the maintenance, care, medical treatment, or impoundment of the animal.

(3) A peace officer, firefighter, humane officer, animal control officer, or other emergency responder is authorized to take all steps that are reasonably necessary for the removal of an animal from a motor vehicle, including, but not limited to, breaking into the motor vehicle, after a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other person responsible.

(4) A peace officer, firefighter, humane officer, animal control officer, or other emergency responder who removes an animal from a motor vehicle or who receives an animal rescued from a vehicle from another person shall, in a secure and conspicuous location on or within the motor vehicle, leave written notice bearing his or her name and office, and the address of the location where the animal can be claimed. The animal may be claimed by the owner only after payment of all charges that have accrued for the maintenance, care, medical treatment, or impoundment of the animal.

(5) Except as provided in subdivision (b), this section does not affect in any way existing liabilities or immunities in current law, or create any new immunities or liabilities.

(e) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under both this section and Section 597 or any other provision of law, including city or county ordinances.

(f) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to prohibit the transportation of horses, cattle, pigs, sheep, poultry, or other agricultural animals in motor vehicles designed to transport such animals for agricultural purposes.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 554, Sec. 2. (AB 797) Effective January 1, 2017.)

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