Police Rescue 30 Cats from Parked Minivan Sitting in the Hot Sun

Most pest people are aware that you should never leave your pet on its own in the car, especially on a hot day. Doing so is considered animal cruelty as it causes a lot of distress, leads to severe dehydration, and can ultimately cause the death of the animal. When members of the public see animals left alone in a car on a hot day, they may need to phone the emergency services for assistance to release the animals for their own safety. This often leads to both the police and animal welfare services attending the incident. Sometimes, the police are shocked by what they find. For example, finding 30 cats in a hot minivan was not something anybody expected.

Shockingly, this is exactly what police found when they were called out to a minivan in Fargo, North Dakota, says Sky NNC. It was 80-degrees outside when Fargo police received a call to rescue the cats at 1.40 pm. It had been reported that there were multiple cats inside a Chrysler van that was parked up in a parking lot on NP Avenue.  Despite knowing that they were attending to remove the cats from the van, the police were still horrified by what they saw. It is estimated that there were at least 30 cats and kittens in the van. Sergeant Mike Bernier was one of the officers who attended the scene, and he has explained that the cats were removed from the vehicle for the sake of their welfare.

Bernier also described the scene that met them. He said that the cats were clearly in distress, despite one of the windows being left open a little. The cats were panting heavily because of the heat inside the car and the vehicle smelled strongly of cat urine. The engine was not running, so there was no air conditioning running.  Bernier realized that the cats desperately needed help, so he gave the community officers permission to break into the vehicle. The first step was to get a two struck to help them break into the van. They also accessed the vehicle through the carboard-covered back window as the lack of glass made this the perfect access point.

Once they had access to the vehicle, they could begin the slow process of rescuing all the cats. This upsetting task took over two hours, and there were so many cats that the officers were struggling to keep count.  At around 3 pm, the owner returned to the vehicle, says Cheezeburger. The woman was clearly distressed by the situation, and the officers had to detain her until the rest of the cats were removed.  Bizarrely, she had parked up her van containing the cats so that she could attend court across the road. She was appearing at the Municipal Court in relation to the two prior instances when police were called out because she had left her poor cats in her van. Surprisingly, all three incidents had taken place in under four weeks, as the previous two incidents were recorded on June 17 and June 20.

In relation to the latest incident, Bernier has explained she will be cited for unattended animals in a motor vehicle. Despite these charges, the woman was not actually under arrest, so police were unable to reveal the identity of the woman.  Many people are surprised to learn that it is against the law to leave animals unattended in a vehicle, but it is an offense. Bernier described how this story is the perfect example of why this is not allowed. He says that all the cats involved were clearly stressed and feeling the physical impact of the heat within the vehicle.

So, what will happen to the cats left in the minivan now? Bernier said that all the cats rescued from the vehicle were taken to a local animal shelter. The staff there will care for the poor cats until they can find new homes for them all. Pet Health Network explains the dangers of leaving cats and dogs in cars further. Even when the temperature outside does not feel too hot, the temperature inside the car can soon build up.

Due to their anatomy, cats can begin to suffer when left in a hot car even quicker than dogs. They will soon develop heatstroke, which is a potentially life-threatening condition. The elevated temperature of their bodies can lead to organs such as the liver, lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain failing.  The Pet Health Work Advises that the best gauge of if it is too hot for your cat and dog is your own body. If it feels too hot for you, then it is probably too hot for your cat or dog. However, temperatures can soon change, and this is another reason not to leave your cat or dog in the car. It may feel alright when you leave them, but temperatures may have risen before you return.

There are some signs of heat stroke of which you should be aware. These include panting, red tongue and gums, drooling, anxiety, and weakness. It is important to note that some cats are more prone to suffering severe effects from heatstroke. These include cats with an underlying health condition, young cats, elderly cats, and pregnant cats. A cat or dog suffering from heatstroke needs the attention of a veterinarian.

There are now several states in the United States that have passed a hot car bill. This legislation allows police to break into a car if they see a pet left unattended in the vehicle in hot temperatures. In the past, police in many states have had no legal rights to rescue dogs from private vehicles, even though it is against the law for pet owners to leave their pet unattended in a vehicle. The new laws implemented in many areas of the United States, including Philadelphia and Kansas, will reduce the number of cases of dog and cat deaths as a result of heatstroke, which is great news for animal lovers.


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