MINT HILL, NC – As the temperatures rise, pet safety issues are a common call to the Mint Hill Police Department. One of the most frequent calls that they receive during the warmer months is regarding the safety of pets being left in cars. While summer is thought to be one of the seasons that pets should be not left in cars while owners are not attending to them, spring, fall and even winter months can cause concern for their health.
Dogs, cats, and most fur-covered animals can not release heat from their bodies as fast as humans. Dogs and cats are only able to release heat from their paws and armpits along with panting, while humans release heat from their whole body. When the outside temperature is 80 degrees, the temperature in a car will rise to 99 degrees within 10 minutes; within 30 minutes it will increase to 114 degrees. Even in other seasons besides summer the temperatures quickly increase inside the car, and these temperatures are deadly to animals very quickly.
The K9 Department at the Mint Hill Police Department is supplied with special vehicles that are specifically designed for K9s to be in the vehicles. Each vehicle runs the entire time that the K9 is in its kennel. The kennel has a dedicated AC system that is direct airflow to support cooling the dog. The vehicle is also supplied with a safety feature known as a hot box system. The system has temperature controls, and if the temperature reaches 95 degrees, the system automatically opens the vehicle windows. Fans start to pull the hot air out as fast as possible, and the car siren alarm activates to alert the officer.
“I encourage our citizens to think about what our pets bring to the lives of humans,” says K9 Officer Michael Pomarico. “They are selfless; the least we can do is to treat our pets with kindness and respect by demonstrating responsible pet care.” Pomarico promotes pet safety throughout the community. He also advocates that pet owners make sure that all pets get their yearly wellness visits including making sure that their flea, tick, and parvo medications are kept up to date. He also stresses that is it important to make sure that all pets receive a balanced diet and regular exercise. When traveling with pets, he asks that the community is always attentive to their safety, making sure to always carry a leash, vaccination reports, a first aid kit for animals, a toy, and a medical muzzle.