Breaking into cars to save animals - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

Breaking into cars to save animals

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) -

Augusta commissioners passed an ordinance Tuesday night that may have people thinking twice about taking their pets everywhere. There is now a zero tolerance for leaving animals locked in cars during extreme temperatures.

"I love my dog and I would not leave my dog in my car," said Margaret Dunstan of Augusta.  

Dunstan loves her dog and loves the decision Augusta commissioners made, allowing officers to break into cars if animals are at risk during extreme temperatures.

"We can give them a citation for leaving their animals in the vehicle for cruelty to animals," said Animal Control Supervisor Edward Jefferson.  

Jefferson said pet owners should not leave their animals in the car if temperatures are 34 degrees and below or 85 degrees and higher.

"It's just a very dangerous thing to do, in the heat or the cold," said Jacqueline Turlington- Moore of Augusta. 

Animal control officials said even leaving the car windows cracked does not justify leaving pets locked inside.  

"It doesn't matter but it has to do with the temperature in the car," said Jefferson.  

It wasn't even 24 hours after the ordinance was passed when animal services received their first call.

"We got a call for the Augusta Mall. There was an animal left in the car and we checked the temperature in the car and it was 82 degrees so we gave the guy a warning," said Jefferson. 

Only three degrees shy of the new ruling but other pet owners told FOX54 they would rather not risk it.

"I take my dog to the dog friendly stores; otherwise the dog stays at home," said Dunstan.  

Animal control officials said it's going to be a hot summer and they plan on enforcing this new ordinance.

If you see an animal locked in a hot car be sure to call 911 or animal control at (706) 790-6836.

Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network.

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