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 remindersto keep your pet safe in warm weather.