BANGOR, Maine — As of 3 p.m. Monday, the Bangor Police Department had responded to six complaints of dogs left in cars while the owners were shopping.
In three cases, the owners had left the car running with the air conditioning on. The remaining three had left windows down. Two owners had provided water for their dogs.
None of the animals was found to be in distress.
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, the department encouraged dog owners to leave their pets at home when shopping. In hot weather, car interiors heat up quickly and dramatically, even with the windows down, according to the statement.
Police Lt. Jeff Millard said officers who come across a pet in distress while confined in a hot vehicle will take steps to ensure the animal’s well-being. If the vehicle is locked, a wrecker may be called to open the door and the animal will be removed, he said. If a pet is in dire condition, an officer may break a window to rescue the animal.
Pet owners who endanger their animals by leaving them in a vehicle in hot weather may receive a civil summons with penalties from $500 to $2,500 for a first offense of cruelty to an animal.