Officials in Pooler working to lower number of animals found in hot cars

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POOLER, Ga. (WSAV) – For the past two months News 3 has been telling you about multiple people being arrested on animal cruelty charges for leaving their pets inside of hot cars. Now the Pooler Police and Fire Department want to prevent this from happening.

Eleven people have arrested by the Pooler Police Department over the last two months for leaving pets inside of hot cars. The most recent arrest happening Monday.

The department’s public information coordinator Lindsey Heintzman said they’ve arrested more people for leaving animals in hot cars this summer than they have in summers past.

“You know we have had more this summer than the previous summer or two. We really attribute that to a lot of public involvement and public knowledge and people being more aware of their surroundings,” Heintzman said.

When concerned citizens call the police department to report the danger of animals, the Pooler Fire Department responds as well. They’re the ones who determine if the car is hot enough to remove the animal by using a thermal imaging camera.

” Anything in excess of 100 degrees like that, if the animals in it then we’ll go ahead and we have some equipment on the truck that allows us to make entry into a vehicle and check the animal… We have oxygen mask and water for the animal,” Fire Chief Wade Simmons said.

Simmons added from January 1st to July 30th they’ve rescued 20 animals. During the same period last year, it was only 14.

To keep the number from increasing the police department is trying to educate the public on the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars by posting about those effects, on their social media pages.

Cheif Simmons also noted the fire department has plans to partner with an animal group.

“We are in the process of working with the humane society. We’re going to try to get some stuff out with them to help further [bring] knowledge to the general public about not leaving animals in your vehicles at all.”

Several of the arrests for people leaving animals in hot cars happened at shopping centers like the Tanger outlets. News 3 reached out to Tanger, and they say are pet-friendly and allow animals in the common areas, but they must be on a leash.

Also, pets are allowed in some of the businesses there, but it depends on the store.

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