Police urge pet owners to protect animals from summer heat

Don't leave pets in vehicles & avoid hot pavement

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Palm Springs city officials on Thursday urged pet owners not to leave animals in vehicles as temperatures rise, and to avoid walking them on hot pavement.

``It is unlawful to leave your dog or cat unattended in an enclosed vehicle and any animal found left unattended will be removed immediately by an animal control officer and taken to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter,'' police Chief Al Franz said. ``In addition, the owner will be fined and liable for any impound fees and costs. This is a serious offense and we ask that citizens take the well being of their pets responsibly.''

Two dogs were found cooped up in vehicles in the Coachella Valley last month.

On May 19, a sheriff's deputy smashed a window on a car at the Indio courthouse to rescue two terriers inside as the interior temperatures neared triple digits. The dogs were checked out and were all right.

On May 5, a woman was arrested for allegedly leaving a dog in her vehicle -- with the windows closed -- in Coachella for more than a day, resulting in its death.

Sun-baked pavement, especially dark asphalt, can also be a hazard and burn the pads on the feet of cats and dogs.

``If it is too hot for you to feel comfortable, it is too hot to walk your dog,'' according to a city statement.

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