It's finally starting to feel like summer in South Jersey with temperatures over 80 the last couple of days. As the temperatures rise, so do the dangers of heat-related injuries to humans and our four-legged friends.

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If you're now out and about with your best friend, please keep in mind that you should never leave your pet unattended in your car. Temps can soar to 100 + degrees in just minutes as the sun's heat becomes trapped in a parked car. Rolling down windows will have little effect. The trapped animal could suffer from heatstroke, which could become fatal.

Unfortunately, if you ever come a cross a animal trapped in a car, you can not legally break a window to save them, according to the Animal League and Historical Center website.

There are now 28 states that strictly prohibits leaving a dog unattended in a hot car including New Jersey, according to the Dogington Post. There are 11 states where a Good Samaritan can break into a car to save a distressed dog, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont and Wisconsin. Unfortunately, New Jersey is not one of those states.

You can also face a penalty of up to $2,000 for leaving your pet trapped in a parked car.

The Humane Society of the United States has a number of steps you can take if you do come across an animal trapped inside a stifling car.

  • Take down the car's make, model and license plate information.
  • If there are businesses nearby, alert their managers or security guards and ask them to make an announcement to find the car's owner.
  • Call the non-emergency number of the local police department or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive.
  • It's always a good habit to never, ever, leave your furry friend(s) unattended in your car, especially during the summer months.

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