It's an unfortunate symptom of the Summer heat – animals all across the state being found near death in sweltering-hot cars.
Just in the past week in Warwick, police say 26 dogs have been rescued from sweltering hot cars. One dog in Johnston died Tuesday after being locked in a car in the summer sun.
"The temperature can rise to 140 degrees within a matter of 20 minutes," Says Dr. E.J. Finocchio, president of the Rhode Island SPCA.
Finocchio says if you see an animal inside a car, do not hesitate to call police, and attempt to remove the dog. "You need to get that person or that animal out of harm's way whether it's smashing a window – whatever – to get into that automobile."
Pet owners can face hefty penalties that vary by town. In Warwick, for example, a town ordinance fines violators up to $500 per offense.