The Elgin Police Department has begun the "Too Hot For Spot" campaign for the second consecutive year. This campaign is designed to inform residents and pet owners of the dangers in leaving pets within unattended parked vehicles.
Most owners would not intentionally harm their pet, but some people do not realize the potential dangers with leaving pets in a parked car, even for a short amount of time. Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes.
Cracked windows and shade do very little to cool your pet inside a parked vehicle. According to a study completed at the San Francisco State University, the interior temperature of a parked car can reach approximately 100? in only 20 minutes on a 70? day. Factors such as dark interior colors, and being parked in direct sunlight make these conditions even worse. The Elgin Police Department receives numerous complaints about this issue this each year and has already received several calls in 2015. The department's Animal Control Unit hopes to educate pet owners as to the dangers of leaving pets in cars in an effort to help prevent future incidents.
Any person found leaving an animal in a parked vehicle, which places the animal in a life or health threatening situation, could face a minimum $1,000 fine under an Elgin city ordinance or up to 30 days in jail under Illinois state statute.
In 2014, the introductory year for this program, Elgin saw an increase in reported cases where pets were left unattended in parked vehicles. The department received a large amount of support for the program as numerous residents stated that they were unaware that the interior of an unattended vehicle could heat up so quickly. If you observe a pet left in an unattended parked vehicle, please contact the Elgin Police Department at 847-289-2700, or 911 in there is an emergency.