SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Pooler Veterinarian, Keith Purcell was arrested on an animal cruelty charges Friday evening. Purcell left his 4-legged-friend in a crate in the back seat of his pick-up truck while temperatures reached 92 degrees with a heat index of 102.

According to a witness, Purcell was eating dinner at Mellow Mushroom when Pooler Fire Rescue arrived trying to get the dog out of the vehicle. Moments later servers began to ask whose car it was before he admitted it belonged to him.

During the hot summer months, it may be a good idea to leave your pets at home or find a pet-friendly place where your pooch is allowed to tag along.

“In 10 minutes you can see the temp rising 15-20 degrees above normal and so their temperature is already increasing even in that short period of time,” Associate Veterinarian Michael Brown said.

The risks are the pet’s potentially experiencing heat stroke or heat exhaustion.

Unlike Georgia, some states have cruelty laws. These “hot car laws” apply to the states in green; in red states, authorities have to take matters into their own hands.

According to Dr. Brown, regardless of whether there is a law or not, we always want to make sure that people who find animals in other cars know how to react in the situation.

There are ways to keep your pet protected even if they aren’t yours. According to the Animal Cruelty Society, you can:

  • Take down the car’s make, model, and license plate number
  • Notify managers or security of nearby businesses
  • Call the non-emergency number of the local police or animal control and wait for them to arrive.
  • Taking a photo of the animal

Incorporating your pet into your summer outings can be easy. Visit here to search for pet friendly locations in your area.