Demonstration illustrates dangers of leaving a pet or child in a hot car

ENCINITAS, Calif. - As temperatures rise into the 90s across parts of San Diego County, a local animal shelter Thursday demonstrated the dangers of leaving a pet or child inside a hot car.

John Van Zante with Rancho Coastal Humane Society got inside his baking hot pickup truck to show how quickly the temperature can rise. A digital thermometer showed the temperature was 91 degrees before he got in. Within two minutes, the temperature had risen to 113 degrees.

"I'm a little dizzy at the moment," Van Zante said when he got out of his pickup. "I've got sweat pouring into my eyes."

He hoped the demonstration served as a warning for anyone who leaves a pet or child in a hot car, even if it's just a short amount of time.

"The time it takes you to run in and get a Slurpee and a candy, and get back; if you've left your kids or animals in your car. You went from less than 80 to 110 in less time than it takes to get back into the car," Van Zante said.

There have been at least 11 children who have died from heatstroke from being left inside a car. Many of those cases happened simply because the child was forgotten.

"When it warms up in there, the humidity drops and it gets very miserable and very deadly very fast," Van Zante said.

It is against the law in California to leave a child under the age of six inside a car alone.

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