WINDHAM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Temperatures in Maine reached the 90s on Thursday, and police officers are reminding people once again not to leave dogs or young children in cars because they can possibly suffer brain damage.
Wednesday, Windham Police charged a man with cruelty to animals after an animal control officer said he left his dog in his car for about an hour with the windows rolled up and no water.
Animal Control Officer Lisa Cronk said that dogs or small children may not know why they are being left alone, and may work themselves up.
"When they get excited like screaming and crying like a baby would do, or barking and whining and running back and forth from window to window like a dog would do, that gets their body temperature up even higher," said Cronk.
Cronk said that small animals and young children can even suffer brain damage from long exposures.
"There's definitely brain damage that can occur with being exposed to a hot temperature for so long of an amount of time. It's just better to be safe than sorry," said Cronk.
Cronk said that a person who decides to break a window of a car to rescue an animal or young child can actually be charged with destruction of property. Under Maine law, only specific first responders, including firefighters, animal control officers, and law enforcement officers may take all steps necessary to save a pet that appears to be in immediate danger.