PASCO, Wash. -- The weather is warming up and animal experts are warning owners not to forget about their pets when they get out of the car.
Animal control workers say they're already busy responding to calls about animals locked inside a hot vehicle.
According to officers, there have already been 22 incidents this year and summers is still officially seven days away.
A common problem is owners who think leaving windows cracked is sufficient but animal control officers say that's still not enough.
"When you put an animal in a confined space and they start having to pant, if there's not proper circulation and the temperature continues to rise, they're bringing in the heat to try blow off and their body core temperature continues to rise," explains Zilar.
He adds it doesn't take much for animals to become overheated. Temperatures at 84 degrees or higher can start to take a toll on a pet with little or no fresh air.