Mother's Day is shaping up to be quite sunny and warm with a high of 93 degrees.
The National Weather Service says temperatures will range in the mid-80s for much of the week.
The rising temperatures have raised concerns about people leaving pets in unattended vehicles. And this week's temperatures will be high enough to endanger pets left in cars even with windows cracked open. And on days where the temperature exceeds 90 degrees, pets should be kept inside, officials say.
It takes only a few minutes for a pet to die of suffocation or heatstroke on a warm day. Officials note that the temperature in a car on a 78-degree day can soar to 120 degrees within 15 minutes.
"Leaving an animal in an unattended vehicle where it could be harmed by heat exposure is against the law," Dave Dickinson, director of animal care and regulation, said in a written statement. "We are experiencing an increase of pets-left-in-cars calls and if we catch the owner, the first offense could cost up to $100. If the animal suffers or dies, or if this is a repeat offense, the pet owner could be fined up to $500 and/or could be jailed for up to six months."
Leaving a pet in a vehicle with partially opened windows or air-conditioning also is not a good option, officials say, noting that engines fail.
Pets can overheat outdoors, too. Pet owners are advised to make sure animals have easy access to water and shade to prevent dehydration.
For tips on what to do if a pet becomes overheated, see the website at www.saccountyshelter.net.
Call The Bee's Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.