SACRAMENTO - As the temperatures continue to go up in the Valley, so do the number of animal cruelty complaints.
Gina Knepp with the Sacramento City Animal Shelter on Front Street says they typically get 50 to 80 calls per summer from people who witness dogs being locked in hot cars, or being left out in backyards all day long with no shade or shelter.
Knepp says many of the complaints come from the parking lot at Arden Fair Mall, and some of the shopping centers along Broadway.
Many pet owners don't realize that they could be killing their dogs by leaving them inside their cars, and it can happen very quickly. A car in the full sun is 20 degrees hotter on average inside than the actual temperature outside. So if it's 80 degrees outside, it can shoot up to 100 plus degrees inside the car in just 30 minutes.
In some cases, animal control officers will break the windows of parked vehicles to rescue the animals.
Leaving an animal in a car can result in a felony animal cruelty charge. And leaving animals in backyards without shade, shelter, or water can also result in a violation.