ST. LOUIS – If it’s 70 degrees and over, don’t take Rover. That’s the message that the Humane Society of Missouri wants all pet owners to take to heart.

Anne McLaughlin, with the Humane Society, said it’s important to keep in mind that, even cars that are parked in the shade, can reach temperatures that are deadly for the pets inside.

"That 70-degree mark, it’s kind of our baseline,” McLaughlin said. “The temperature can rise well over 100-degrees in about 20 minutes.”

A Richmond Heights resident snapped photos of a dog stuck in a hot car in the Schnucks parking lot. She did exactly what you are supposed to do. She called the police, who issued a citation to the dog owner for cruelty to animals.

"A dog's normal temperature is right around 100-degrees, and they cool themselves by panting,” explained McLaughlin. “And if the air around them, like inside this car, is over 100-degrees, they’re not cooling themselves down, they’re heating themselves up,” she said.

If you notice any animal that has been left in a car, you’re asked to call your local police department and the Humane Society of Missouri Animal Cruelty Taskforce at (314) 647-4400.

You can get additional hot weather tips and download the HSMO 30-second PSA, posters and postcards at