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Persons who leave their pet in their vehicle on a warm day could subject the animal to stress (or worse)--and be themselves subject to a $250 fine. That's because the City of Puyallup increased the fine for confining an animal in a vehicle in a way that poses an unreasonable risk to the animal's health or safety.
Puyallup Ordinance No. 3159 was adopted by the City Council in the interest of preventing injury and cruelty to animals. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), on a sunny summer day, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise 20 to 30 degrees in just ten to 20 minutes. This means that the interior of your car or truck can quickly reach a temperature that puts your pet at risk of serious illness or death--even if the temperature outside strikes you as merely pleasantly warm.
A dog left inside a secure vehicle cannot get out on its own. No loving, responsible owner wants their pet to suffer heat exhaustion or heatstroke, but the sad truth is this can and does happen, all too often.
The increased $250 penalty cannot be deferred or reduced. What's more, an officer who has probable cause to believe that an animal is endangered is authorized to enter a vehicle by any reasonable means for the purpose of rectifying the situation if the owner cannot be located.
Your pet relies on you to keep it out of harm's way as best you can. Because a hot car interior can be harmful, please be aware--and please act accordingly.