Woman outraged after seeing dog trapped in boiling vehicle

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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- The Kent County Animal Shelter said it is getting a lot of calls about animals being left inside hot vehicles when owners make the mistake of leaving their pet alone for "just a minute."

With the temperatures soaring through the 80's Tuesday, so is the danger of leaving a pet alone in a car.

Amanda Hoffman said she witness a dog locked in a parked vehicle at a local grocery store. When the owner didn't show up for more than 30 minutes, Hoffman and a few others took action.

"We tested the doors, any of the doors, to see if they were unlocked," Hoffman said.

Hoffman said the owner eventually showed up and the dog was ok. But animal control officers with the Kent County Animal Shelter know situations like this could have been worse.

"The main factor is that people don’t realize how fast a car can heat up if they leave a living being, whether it’s an animal or a child," said Carly Luttman with the Kent County Animal Shelter.

"It's tragic. The heat gets astronomical very quickly.”

Luttman said days that don’t seem too hot are just as dangerous.

"With an 80 degree temperature, a car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of 20 minutes.”

Animal control officers take these calls very seriously. Pet owners could face $50 fines.

Hoffman hopes she doesn’t come across another situation like this, and has a plea for her fellow pet owners.

"Just leave them at home where it is air-conditioned and they are comfortable, that way you are not losing a pet.”

While local veterinarians say they are not seeing too many dogs coming in with heat related issues, they are seeing some dogs with burns to their foot pads caused by hot concrete.

Here is some valuable reminders to keep your pet safe in warm weather.


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  • tracyd112

    Mark my words if I see any Child or Animal locked in any car I will risk going to jail as I will break the window out and then dial 911,Sorry if you think I am wrong but I wont risk a death because of some selfish person.

  • bionicbartender

    Agreed. WARNING! If this happens in my hometown, Grand Haven, I will take action…you won’t like what I might have to do to your vehicle if I see an animal or child in it. Better have yourself some good insurance for a busted window if the cops don’t show up quick enough. Just a friendly reminder…

  • Jenn

    I have left my dog in the car BUT the AIRCONDITIONING WAS ON HIGH and PARKED IN THE SHADE for ONLY TEN MINUTES while i had to run inside to get my kids. I would NEVER leave an animal in the car like that, my puppy is my baby!

    • fine

      jenn even though you are merely justifying leaving your dog alone in a “supposed” air conditioned vehicle, you are still leaving a lot of trust on that vehicle to perform and perform quite well I might add. Not to mention the majority of vehicles left in the hot sun with ac on still tend to overheat due to the lack of air flow cooling critical parts. Also don’t forget about the exhaust. not only can exhaust leak where it shouldn’t but it can draft quite easily into the vehicle itself.