Question: I came across the Minnesotan law that states animals cannot be kept in vehicles in a manner that endangers their safety.

I also came across certain cities’ laws that states you cannot idle your vehicle with the keys inside.

Can you talk about pet safety, especially when the temperatures are high?

Answer: Minnesota law states that a person may not leave a dog or cat unattended in a standing or parked motor vehicle in a manner that endangers the health or safety of the pet.

A peace officer, a humane agent, a dog warden, or a volunteer or professional member of a fire or rescue department may use reasonable force to enter a motor vehicle to remove a dog or cat.

Please use caution and always be alert to your pet’s safety and well-being.

Consider the following options:

  • Leave your pet at home when possible.
  • Have someone remain in the vehicle with the pet with the engine and air conditioner running.
  • Check with the business, as they may allow you to bring your pet in while shopping.
  • The following statistics from a San Francisco State University study illustrate how quickly the inside of your vehicle can heat up:
  • When the outside air temperature is 70 degrees, the inside of your car may heat up to 99 degrees in 20 minutes;
  • When the outside air temperature is 85 degrees, the inside of your car may heat up to 104 degrees in 10 minutes;
  • When the outside air temperature is 95 degrees, the inside of your car may heat up to 136 degrees in 50 minutes.

This study also found that cracking the vehicle’s windows had very little effect on the temperature rise inside.

Do not leave your pet unattended in a vehicle, even for a short period as it could cause a serious medical condition or death to your pet.

Any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trooper Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, 2900 48th St., NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848; or send an email to: Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us.

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