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Leaving a child or pet in a hot car could land you in prison

Published: May. 10, 2022 at 6:27 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - We may be a few weeks away from the official start of summer but there’s no doubt that the heat is on!

As the hot days continue, this can pose a danger to the health of people and pets.

Weather experts say May is one of the first months where Laredo starts to experience triple-digit temperatures.

On average, Laredo’s temperature hits 109 degrees during the months of May through August.

This is something that parents and pet owners should keep in mind when they get in and out of their vehicles.

Ricardo Oliva Jr. with the Laredo Fire Department says there are times when children and pets are left inside a vehicle, with the door closed and no air.

He adds the temperature inside a vehicle is much higher than what it is outside.

Oliva says, “The temperature when it’s 105 degrees outside can rise to the temperature of 139 degrees within the first half-hour.”

Oliva says in the past they have attended to rescue calls of children and pets left alone inside a vehicle during a hot day without air conditioning.

He says they begin their rescue by finding a window that’s away from the child or pet so they can rescue him or her.

During these rescues, Oliva adds there’s no time to waste because every moment is crucial.

This year so far, the fire department has not responded to any of these calls yet.

On the other hand, Investigator Joe Baeza with the Laredo Police Department says they get these calls often.

Baeza says, “We’ve had some extreme cases where we have had parents explain to us that hey, I was running in I was running out. You know that takes longer than expected so even when you leave a child for one you cannot leave a child unattended in a vehicle with the engine running with the A.C. on.”

Baeza says leaving your children unattended in the vehicle is against the law. In some cases, the parent can even be arrested and taken to jail.

Authorities say it is never an option to leave an animal or child inside a vehicle during the extreme heat.

People leaving animals in a hot vehicle can also face arrest for animal cruelty.

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