Nye County Animal Control responded to the Walmart parking lot after dispatchers received reports of a pet left inside a vehicle late Tuesday morning.
Animal Control Officer Susan Ryhal said a couple from out of state left the car running with the air conditioning on, while they went inside the store to shop.
We received a call from a citizen that there was a dog locked in a vehicle with the windows rolled up, she said. The witness said that the keys were in the vehicle, so I suspected the car was likely running, but the witness said it was not.
Unlike previous similar calls, Ryhal said the dog appeared to be in good condition, as the interior temperature was not at life-threatening levels.
The car was running and the dog was quiet, well rested, and it looked comfortable, she said. It did not appear he was in distress. I waited and advised the owners that in the state of Nevada, its illegal to leave your pet inside the car, even with it running.
The owners, visiting from Missouri, were given a warning instead of a citation.
Fines for such offenses are upward of $600 in Nye County.
Ryhal said many people traveling from out of state are not aware of local laws pertaining to pets left in vehicles.
Most people from out of state are not aware of our animal ordinances, she said. Some states actually require that the owner leave the vehicle running with the pet in it. Some people just dont know about ours.
Ryhal also said if at all possible, people should just leave their pets at home while going out to shop.
Home is the safest thing to do for your pet, she said. Just because the engine is running, it doesnt mean that the car will always blow cool air, because the car is not in motion. We still get these calls on a regular basis. In fact, we get about several of these types of calls each week.
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