BURLESON — Kim Peckler, Burleson's supervisor of animal services, checked the display of a new tool she just bought for her officers.
"It's reading 105 degrees, and y'all have been out of the car for three minutes," she said.
We closed the doors to WFAA's news vehicle in the parking lot of the Burleson Animal Shelter at 3:14 p.m. Her infrared temperature gun showed it was 105 inside at 3:17. Three minutes earlier, the air conditioning had been running inside that vehicle.
By 3:24 p.m, the temperature was up to 115 degrees. Peckler said a dog can begin to show signs of a heatstroke when its body temperature reaches 104 degrees.
Peckler says she finally has proof that what she's been preaching is true: Dogs and cats don't belong in cars in Texas in the summer.
"I'm glad people love taking pets with them, but there's a point where you shouldn't do that," she said. "It's just too hot.... and we're at that point."
Peckler said the temperature guns will save the lives of about 20 pets every year. The infrared lasers record the heat inside a vehicle.
"We take pictures of the temperature, three pictures of the gun itself. When we issue the citation those pictures go with us to court," she explained. "And we can show a judge why we shattered a window to get an animal out."
Animal control officers have already issued three citations this summer to people who left a pet inside a vehicle. Peckler also hopes the guns can be used to just teach lessons.
"If i just tell you, 'Hey it's hot in there!' you're gonna go, 'Yeah yeah, it's OK.' But [the guns show] a big difference," Peckler said.