EUGENE, Ore. -- With the warmer weather hitting the Willamette Valley, dogs are at a greater risk of being left in cars with no way to escape the heat. One Creswell woman has made it her summer mission to warn people about the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot vehicle.
Leaving a dog in a hot car without water is against the law in Eugene. It is considered animal neglect and is punishable by a $250 fine.
However, since law enforcement is streched thin in Creswell one resident has made enforcing this law her business.
Kathy, who prefers to withhold her last name, spends each hot day this summer touring parkinglots and looking for dogs left in hot cars. If she finds a dog trapped in a car she leaves a flier that reads "your dog may be dying". She then notifies stores and businesses nearby to locate an owner.
If Kathy is still unable to find an owner, she calls the City of Eugene's Animal Welfare Office and will even confront the owners when they return to their vehicles.
Kathy said that what she does isn't about getting people in trouble for leaving their pet in their vehicle.
"I do it because it just might save a dog's life someday." Kathy said.
A report from the Animal Protection Institute said that on a warm day the temprature inside a car can climb to more than 102 degrees in less than 15 minutes. That exposure time and heat is enough to kill a canine, the API said.
Eugene's Animal Welfare Office reccomended anyone seeing a dog left in a hot car to take down the license plate number and description of the dog when calling the police dispatch.