Last Friday, July 15, Wilton Police removed a dog left in a locked car where internal temperatures were recorded at 94-degrees. Police responded to the scene at 10:36 a.m. after an eyewitness called to report seeing the dog locked in a vehicle parked at Caraluzzi’s Market in Georgetown.

According to Lt. Stephen Brennan, the Wilton Police public information officer, both front windows were found to be rolled down approximately 2.5-inches each; however, that didn’t prevent temperatures inside the car from rising at least 10-degrees above outside measurements.

“They took temperature readings inside the vehicle; the outside temperature was 84-degrees, and a recorded 94.4 degrees inside the locked vehicle,” Brennan said. Notably, the responding officer measured the temperature of the back seat (on which the dog was resting) at 94.4 degrees with a laser temperature meter.

Officers unlocked the car doors using a “slimbow” device, and although the dog—a brown shepherd mix—did not seem to be in any distress, the canine control officer on site took the dog into an air conditioned vehicle.

As time progressed, officers took another reading, noting that the temperature inside the car rose even higher to 101-degrees, after the dog had been removed.

After 20 minutes, the dog’s owner returned to the car, following visits to both the Chase bank and Caraluzzi’s. Brennan said that officers issued the owner, a Wilton resident, a written warning for cruelty to animals.

Hot Weather Pet Advisory

Friday’s incident was the fourth time officers have responded to reports of pets locked in hot cars since May 31, 2016. For two of those calls, the vehicles were gone upon the officers’ arrivals. In the third incident the vehicle was found to be running with the air conditioner on, and the animal was not in distress.

Following this latest incident, Wilton Police issued an advisory warning Wilton pet owners to be aware of hot weather effects on their pets and suggest leaving pets home rather than leaving them alone in vehicles.

“During the summer and hot temperatures, it’s better to leave your pet at home, than leave them unattended in your car. The temperature can rise very quickly even with the windows open, or being parked in the shade. The temperature can rise very quickly in your vehicle to well over 100 degrees or more. Your dog pants to cool themselves, if the air temperature in your vehicle rises, they can overheat rapidly. This can result in death to your pet. All trips into a store last longer than you think. Please let’s keep our pets safe. There is a great deal of public awareness, and law enforcement is frequently called.”

In addition, the police have issued a graphic chart illustrating how much hotter temperatures can reach inside a closed car as temperatures rise outside. For example, after just 10 minutes, an outdoor temperature of 85 degrees can reach 104 degrees inside a car.