8:44 PM EDT, August 16, 2012
Leave your pet at home. That's the message from Salem Animal Control.
Last year the city enacted an ordinance which makes it illegal for people to leave their pet inside a car on days hotter than 80 degrees
"We're out here trying to save the pets," says Lt. Bill Bandy.
This summer they've handed out about 8 tickets.
Lt. Bandy says they do patrol shopping centers and parking lots but most of the time it starts with a phone call.
"Generally we get a complaint that there's a dog in a vehicle somewhere in a parking lot like Walmart," says Lt. Bandy.
Lt. Bandy says he hears a lot of excuses from people. Some say they were just running errands, others tell him their pet just likes to ride in the car.
Since the rule started last year, Lt. Bandy says the number of complaints have actually dropped.
"That tells me that people are getting educated through media outlets that sometimes we gotta love our pets enough to leave them at home," says Lt. Bandy.
The maximum fine is $500.
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