CITY HALL — Pet owners who leave their animals in a hot or cold car for any amount of time could be fined at least $300 and as much as $1,000 under a measure proposed by 36th Ward Ald. Gilbert Villegas.
The measure would also give law enforcement officers the right to break into a vehicle to save an animal after making a reasonable effort to find its owner, according to the measure introduced Thursday.
"No person shall confine any animal in a motor vehicle in such a manner that places it in a life or health threatening situation by exposure to a prolonged period of extreme heat or cold, without proper ventilation or other protection from such heat or cold," the ordinance would read.
No minimum or maximum temperatures are included in the proposal.
On Friday, a west suburban woman was charged with animal cruelty when her dog died after being left in a car near a shopping center while temperatures soared into the mid-80s, officials said.
State law specifically prohibits pets from being left in vehicles and exposed to extreme high and low temperatures.
Those convicted under this provision of the Humane Care for Animals Act can face a $2,500 fine or a maximum of one year in jail.