Summer is just around the corner in Minnesota and we have already got our firsts tastes of the heat this week. I got into my car on Wednesday when it was 84 outside and the heat almost took my breath away.

Leaving pets in hot cars can become a life or death situation quickly in warmer months. Here is what you can do if you encounter a dog or cat trapped in a hot car.

1. Be Informed About State Laws and Regulations

There is a Minnesota law that says a person may not leave a dog or a cat unattended in a parked motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the pet's health or safety. Regular citizens can't remove the pet themselves, but a peace officer, humane agent, dog warden, or a volunteer or professional member of a fire or rescue department may use reasonable force to enter a motor vehicle and remove the animal.

2. Take Down Information

Get the make, model, color, and license plate number of the vehicle the animal is in and use that information to find the owner or report it to authorities that can help. If you are at an establishment use that information to page the owner over an intercom system.

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3. Don't Leave the Scene

If you do have to leave, try to find another person to watch the car and pet to make sure they are still being monitored.

4. Know The Signs of Heatstroke

Pet MD reported that the signs of heatstroke include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, and lack of coordination.

5. Care For the Animal in Any Way You Can

Once the authorities or owner remove the pet from the hot car, do what you can to help. Find a nearby building with air conditioning, and get them some water to drink.

The best practice for pet owners is to not bring pets with when running errands in the hotter months. A car's internal temperatures can rise 40 degrees in an hour with the windows up, even with an exterior temperature is only 72°F. Keep those furry friends safe this summer, and give them an extra treat from us here at 96.7 The River!