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When temps rise so do calls to Animal Control

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- On a hot day Guilford County Animal Control gets a lot more calls.  This time they dispatched Officer Alexis Bennett to rescue a dog from the heat. 

"We're going to Walgreen's off of West Market Street -- got a dog in the vehicle."

Bennett said she gets called out for dogs left in hot cars at least twice a day and the excuse is always the same. 

"They just didn't know.  They brought the animal with them.  It was cool when they went inside and something held them up in the store."

Bennett has to carry a thermometer to check how hot it is inside the cars.  

"The state law says anytime the temp is over 80-degrees, the temp in the car can rise.  So anytime the temp is over 80 it's illegal to have the dog in the car," said Bennett.

Sun beating down on a car makes it feel like an oven and it doesn't take long to cook.  

Dr. Melanie Tims of Greensboro Veterinary Hospital said a dog could die within 15 minutes of being locked in a car.

"Quickly the dog can go into shock and and there can be multi-organ failure rapidly.  So the time is critical," said Tims.

Bennett knows that all too well and hurried to Walgreen's.

"It's already been five minutes since we received a call and they advise that the windows are up and the doors are locked."

But it was too late.

"They already left? Luckily she left.  Luckily because she's going to get a $500 ticket," Bennett said.

The owner may have left, but the lady who phoned in the complaint told Bennett all about it.

"She's been in there for 45 minutes.  See that's wrong.  That dog could've died in that car, but you did a good thing."

It's a $500 ticket for leaving a dog in a car and a felony if the dog dies.