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In Irving, Texas, Leaving Your Pet in a Hot Car Can Cost You $2000

by Sue
Dog sitting in hot car

It is against the law to leave your pet alone in the car in Irving

Do you leave your dog in the car while you run into Walmart to shop? If you do that in Irving, you could end up with a big fine.

In Irving, Texas, it is against the law to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle (or anywhere, for that matter). This law applies year round, not just when it is hot outside. The penalty for violating the law is that your pet may be taken from you. Not only that, breaking a city pet ordinance carries a fine of up to $2,000.

How Hot Does it Get Inside a Parked Car?

I was curious to see how hot it actually gets inside a vehicle in a parking lot, so Mark and I used his infrared windshield thermometer to take some readings. Most small to medium dogs put their feet on the arm rests or glass to look out the window when locked in a vehicle, so we took readings of the interior back side glass, arm rests, and back seat in both the sunny and shady sides of the car.

These were the conditions of our test:

  • outdoor temp 89°, light breeze
  • black vehicle with light gray interior
  • vehicle parked in the sun in a parking lot
  • exterior windshield temperature 124.9°

Parked Vehicle Temperatures

Part of Vehicle
Sunny Side F°
Shady Side F°
Interior rear side window
137.1
102.1
Vinyl arm rest
118.1
108.4
Cloth seat
114.9
107.6

As you can see, the arm rest on the sunny side of the car may not be hot enough to burn the pads of a dog’s paws but look at the temperature of the glass! Just think if he touches 137° glass with his nose or feet.

Keep in mind the outdoor temperature was 89 degrees when these readings were taken, which is 10-15 degrees cooler than it is on a hot August afternoon in Dallas. Even with the windows cracked, in 100-degree heat the temperature inside a vehicle can reach unbearable temperatures within minutes.

Next time you want to run to Walmart for a few things, the most loving thing you can do for your dog is to leave him at home. You don't want your precious pet to get sick or taken away from you.

More Information

Call Irving Animal Services at (972) 721-2256 to find out more information about the city pet laws or to report violators.

Not only are the hot summer days hard on pets and people, they are hard on your windshield! For tips on how to protect your windshield in hot weather, click here.

Source:  City of Irving, Texas. "Resident Reminders." CitySpectrum, March 2012: page 7.  Photo credit: © Michelle Harvey.



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