CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Doctor Lucy Fuller with the Charleston Animal Society says all it takes is minutes for a healthy dog to succumb to heat exhaustion if left in a car. Wednesday, it took the shelter just 30 minutes to realize that these cases are rising as fast as the temperature in the Lowcountry.
"We had four cases today," Fuller says. "They all came in on the same truck actually."
Three puppies were handed over to authorities by a homeless man outside of a Wal-Mart after a concerned shopper described signs of heat exhaustion over the phone to police.
Then a poodle, locked inside a car outside of a Sam's Club in North Charleston, was called in right afterward.
"The temperature in the car was approximately 112 degrees," says Charleston Animal Society Director Pearl Sutton.
Sutton says the dog was in the car for close to an hour but in most cases heat exhaustion can occur much quicker.
"Even five minutes in a car in these extreme temperatures it's too much for your pet," she said.
The owners of the poodle reclaimed their dog at the shelter after North Charleston Police fined them more than a thousand dollars for the incident.
Dr. Fuller says the solution is an easy one.
"Leave your pets at home," she says. "It's really just crucial cause they can get hot too quickly."