STUDIO CITY—Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer appeared at a news conference outside the Easy Valley Animal Shelter on Tuesday, July 18 to urge people not to leave their pets in hot vehicles because it will lead to fines and jail time.

“We’re here today to prevent the needless tragedy of a beloved pet suffering or dying because its guardian thoughtlessly leaves their companion animal in a hot, parked car,” Feuer said.

Leaving an animal inside of a car can cause the animal to suffocate or be injured by the excessive heat. It is considered “animal cruelty” under the law, Feuer informed the public.

“The facts are so clear: It takes just 15 minutes for an animal to suffer brain damage when temperatures soar on a hot summer day in a parked vehicle,” said Feuer. “Cracking a window open doesn’t do nearly enough to cool your car down sufficiently. This isn’t only a health and safety issue for your pet, it’s a legal issue, too. Leaving your companion animal in a parked car in the heat of the day is against the law, and can lead to serious animal cruelty charges, fines, and even jail.”

According to Feuer, offenders can get a fine of up to $100 and an infraction conviction if there is no great bodily harm to the animal. If the animal does suffer bodily injury, the offender could be fined up to $500 and go to jail for up to six months.

Feuer was joined by Bob Barker, the former host of the CBS game show “The Price is Right” and a longtime animal rights activist.

“Leaving a pet in a locked car is stupid or deliberately cruel, or both,” Barker said.

A California state law known as the Right to Rescue Act went into effect in January 2017 and allows people to break into a parked car to help save an animal that is believed to be in danger. They must call law enforcement first or the city’s animal cruelty task force at (213) 486-0450.

Feuer said his office has prosecuted 100 animal cruelty cases since he took office in 2013. He hopes there will be more awareness to prevent further cases of animal cruelty.

The East Valley Animal Shelter encourages individuals to consider adopting cats and dogs who need a home. They can search online or visit the shelter Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.