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Sequim dog dies of heatstroke

According to the Sequim police, a dog died this past Saturday after being left in a car in a Sequim shopping center parking lot while outside temperatures reached a high of 70 degrees. The animal was taken to an area veterinarian but did not survive.

Although this is the first such death officers have seen this summer, city of Sequim code enforcement officer Lisa Hopper said she has received many calls about pets being left in vehicles.

“Last week alone, I was averaging two to three calls a day (about this),” said Hopper, who was not on the scene at the July 12 incident. “It’s so important for people to realize not to leave their pets in the car.”

According to Hopper, leaving a pet inside a vehicle can be classified as animal cruelty in the first degree, a felony which, in the state of Washington, could result in a fine or imprisonment.

While temperatures can seem mild, the Humane Society of the United States Web site states that the temperature inside of a car can rise as much as 35 degrees in 30 minutes.

“On an 85-degree Fahrenheit day, for example, the temperature inside a car with the windows opened slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature will reach 120 degrees,” reads the site. “On hot and humid days, the temperature in a car parked in direct sunlight can rise more than 30 degrees per minute and quickly become lethal.”

Hopper encourages anyone to call the police if they see any pets, not only dogs, being left inside of cars. She stressed that this kind of heat affects all breeds of dogs and all kinds of animals.

“It’s not a matter of if it’s a shorthaired dog or a longhaired dog,” said Hopper, who added that she recently got a call about birds being left in a vehicle. “It’s all dogs, it’s all animals.”

According to the Humane Society site, heat stress in animals can be identified by heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid heartbeat, restlessness, excessive thirst, lethargy, fever, dizziness, lack of coordination, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue and unconsciousness. If these symptoms occur, the site encourages pet owners to move the animal to a shady or air-conditioned area, apply ice packs or cool towels to the animal’s chest and neck area and immediately visit a veterinarian.

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