Posted: Jul 9, 2012 3:50 PM by Tara Oster - KPAX News
Updated: Jul 9, 2012 8:28 PM
MISSOLA- With temperatures this week into the 90s and even 100s, it's important to think of our four legged friends.
It can take as little as 10 minutes for your pet to suffer from heat stroke and die if left in a vehicle.
Veterinarian and owner of Animal Blessings Pet Hospital in Missoula, Dr. Jani Zirbel, said animals have no way to cool themselves, so they'll suffer from heatstroke much sooner than a person.
Zirbel said once your pet has reached the point of stroke, the medical costs to save their lives can range from $1500 to $2000.
She added even cracking a window won't lower the temperature inside your car and hundreds of pets are killed each year because their owners leave them inside a hot vehicle.
"And before they die, they suffer horribly. Heat stroke is a bad way to go," Zirbel said.
She said the only acceptable way to leave your pet inside a vehicle for any length of time is to leave the car running with the air conditioning on.
"That's the only way you can do it. You don't even have five minutes when it's this hot," She said.
Even when the temperature outside is only 70 degrees, the temperature inside your car can reach 90 degrees in ten minutes and more than 100 degrees within 20 minutes.
Zirbel also added words of caution for loading up your dog in the back of a pickup truck. She said: don't do it.
"It's not a question of if they're going to jump out, it's when," she said.
Zirbel said the safest way to transport your dog in a pickup truck is to have them inside a crate; not running loose or tied down.
If you see an animal in a parked car, Missoula Animal Control representatives ask you to call them at 406-541-7387, and NOT 9-1-1.