The Dog-gone Truth! Volume 1: Dogs Don’t Like Parked Cars (and Neither Does the Law!)

We’ve seen these extreme temperatures in the Chicagoland area this season, which has caused many of us to change our daily habits and behaviors.  Unfortunately, many people still do not, or are unaware about proper pet care.  Did you know that any temperature over 70° is too hot to leave your best friend in the car?  That’s right.  A car’s interior can heat up too fast and lead to sickness and even death for your doggy.  According to, it is illegal in 14 states to leave your dog locked in the car, Illinois being one of them.

He might be cute, but he shouldn’t be left alone!

AnimalLaw.Info summarizes the Illinois law regarding leaving your pooch in the car as the following:

Confine any animal in a motor vehicle in such a manner that places it in a life or health threatening situation by exposure to a prolonged period of extreme heat or cold, without proper ventilation or other protection from such heat or cold.

A law official has the right to enter whatever vehicle where a pet has been left, in order to confiscate the animal while locating the owner or responsible party for the animal.  In Illinois, the first offense is a Class C Misdemeanor, the second a Class B.  There really doesn’t seem to be a set fine or jail sentence for a Class C misdemeanor, so it appears that officials and judges have the authority to determine the punishment.  A Class B misdemeanor offense comes with a fine of $1,500 and up to 180 days in jail.  So at the expense of your best friend’s life, a large fine, and a possible offense on your record, is it really worth it to leave your dog in a hot car for any time at all?  I don’t think so.


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