Leaving kids, pets in hot cars could mean jail time

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News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, June 12, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- If you live down South, you already know the inside of your car is always a lot hotter than it is outside. It's especially dangerous for small kids and pets left inside the car.

Augusta commissioners say they are turning up the heat on anyone who does. The heat outside is undeniable, and inside cars, it's unbearable.

"I think I need some water," said Augusta resident Goldie Wells.

"The heat inside my car is still rising. It's not good," said Augusta resident Tina Blackwell.

"We have a set of standard operating procedures law enforcement agencies will follow," said Animal Services Director Sharon Broady.

She is talking about two new possible city codes. One gives authorities the right to break your window if you leave a pet unattended in a car for five minutes. It has to be hotter than 85 and colder than 35 degrees for that to happen.

Criminal laws already exist if kids are left in cars and are injured. A second code makes it illegal to leave a small child in the car at all.

"I have a great grandchild, and I wouldn't want him left in the car," Blackwell said.

If commissioners approve the codes, warning signs will go up around the city reminding people of hot car dangers.

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