Download our news and weather apps

Woman cited for leaving cat in hot car in Germantown

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. — A Germantown woman is facing a misdemeanor citation after officers say she left her cat in her car in the Kroger parking lot.

Officers got a call a cat was locked inside a vehicle that wasn't running at the Kroger off Farmington late last week.

An officer said when he showed up, two windows were cracked an inch, but when he stuck part of his hand inside it was clear the car was still too warm for comfort.

The thermometer read 95 degrees outside.

When the cat's owner, Hsuan Hou, returned to the vehicle she told the officer she was only inside the store for 10 minutes — but security footage showed she'd been shopping for more than half an hour.

Thankfully this cat was OK. But Alexis Pugh, director of Memphis Animal Services, says leaving your animal in a hot vehicle could be deadly.

"If you have a 70-degree day outside you would think your pet is probably OK to sit in the car for awhile and you`d be wrong," she said. "A car can heat up about 40 degrees every hour, so that 70 degrees outside means 110 degrees for that animal. That animal is covered in fur. It doesn't have access to water or fresh air."

Penalties for leaving your animal in a hot vehicle vary but could range from a misdemeanor to a felony.

If you see an animal in need there are good Samaritan laws that allow you to help and get into the vehicle to get them out.

But you first must contact law enforcement and do everything you can to contact the owner as well.