YORKTOWN, N.Y. – A 66-year-old Katonah woman was issued a ticket earlier this week after she allegedly left a dog locked inside her car with the windows closed while she went shopping, according to the Yorktown Police Department.
Responding to a report, Animal Control Officer James Waterhouse arrived at the Triangle Center around 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 5, and discovered a basset hound locked inside a vehicle. Waterhouse said from the time he arrived until the woman returned to her vehicle, about 20 minutes had passed.
“We were close [to breaking the windows], but fortunately she did walk back out,” Waterhouse said.
Waterhouse said the temperature was “a solid 80 degrees” that day, meaning it was much hotter inside the car.
On an 80-degree day, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach 99 degrees in 10 minutes and 114 degrees in 30, according to heatkills.org.
The woman was charged with confining a dog inside a motor vehicle, a town code violation. She is due in court on Aug. 8.
Waterhouse said there are no advisable ways to leave a dog inside a vehicle on a hot day. He said anti-idling laws in Westchester County prohibit people from leaving their cars running with the air conditioners on. Even if a person leaves their windows down and leaves water in the car, it is not recommended to leave the dog in the car for longer than five minutes.
“My obvious recommendation would be to leave the dog at home,” Waterhouse said.
During the summer, Waterhouse said, he receives at least one call per week about a dog being left inside a vehicle.
“A lot of times it’s people who are just running in for ‘two seconds,’” he said. “But two seconds turns into 20 minutes.”