The dangers of leaving a child or pet inside a hot car

Deputies respond to more calls during summer

Leaving a child or pet inside a hot...

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - Leaving children or pets alone in a hot car is illegal and dangerous, but law enforcement officers are responding to calls to check on their welfare. 

As temperatures rise during the summer, it's increasingly dangerous to leave anyone in an unattended vehicle. 

"It makes me angry. That type of stuff. Dogs get really hot," said Kristy Dutton from Lompoc. 

Dutton was sitting inside her SUV with her two dogs while her husband ran errands. She says she never leaves her dogs inside a car alone. She'd rather sit with them and make sure they're safe. 

You could face legal trouble if you're caught leaving children or dogs in cars. 

"The parent or the caretaker, whoever left them in the vehicle can be charged with child endangerment. If an individual leaves an animal in the car and if that animal is in distress, they can be cited," said Kelly Hoover, public information officer for Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office. 

A new law on the books protects good samaritans. 

"If anyone sees a child left in a car or an animal and if they appear to be in distress or in danger, that person can force entry into the vehicle to help the child," said Hoover. 

Before doing that, you must try and find the owner of the car. You should also take photos and record as much information as you can. 

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