BANGOR, Maine — As summer and warmer weather approaches, so comes the familiar warning from Maine's animal control officers.
Bangor Animal Control Officer Trisha Bruen is warning pet owners of the dangers of keeping our four-legged friends in a hot car.
"The issue that seems to affect me the most is when people go shopping and they leave their dog in the car," Bruen said.
This is a situation she would like pet owners to avoid this summer. She said to try leaving pets home where it's cooler on hot days. If your pet is with you on an errand, Bruen recommends keeping your stops short.
"[If a dog] is panting, and drooling, or trying to crawl ... on the floor in the shadiest spot [of a car], that is a sign the dog is too hot," Bruen told NEWS CENTER Maine.
Bruen added that there are ways for bystanders to help a pet they think is in a hot car.
"You can look inside and assess the dog. I mean, are the windows cracked open? Is the car running with the AC on? You know, maybe the sun roof is open. It depends on the day, it depends on the humidity, it depends on the dog," she said. "But if you see a dog, and if it is panting and drooling, definitely that is a bad sign and you should call us immediately.”
Bruen said bystanders should not attempt to rescue an animal from a car on a hot day. The best way to help an animal in this situation is to call 911, she said.
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She also wants owners to be mindful of hot pavement in the coming days.
"Don't walk your dog entirely on the pavement when it's a hot sunny day," Bruen said. "Make sure you get them some grass time so their paws don't get overheated on the hot pavement."