PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -

Every year hundreds of pets die from heat-related illnesses -- all because they're left inside parked cars.

In just minutes, the inside of a car can peak 20 to 30 degrees hotter than the outdoor scorching temperatures. That's why George Buleck takes extra precautions.

"We take them with us a lot and we have them in the air conditioning with one of us in the car," said Buleck.

While you're out running a few quick errands, keep in mind, police say leaving your pets unattended in the heat -- even with the windows cracked open -- is simply unacceptable. Jim Odoherty said he sees it happen far too often.

"It may not heat up as fast but it's still going to heat up well over 100 real quick. They'll dehydrate and their brains will melt," said Odoherty.

Not only is it dangerous, it's illegal. In California, violators can face a stiff fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail.

"To lose one to some stupidity like that, well I can't put it into words. I don't think there are words in the English language," said Buleck.

Your best bet, keep your pets at home and keep them cool. Odoherty said it's about planning ahead to avoid putting his precious cargo -- Jake and Junior -- at risk.

"They're great guys, like kids. Don't endanger your dogs like you wouldn't endanger your kids," said Odoherty.

"It's very preventable, just don't leave them," said Buleck.

Also, if you see something -- say something. Report animals or children left unattended in a vehicle to local law enforcement.