STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Warm weather is here to stay so State Police and a local animal shelter in the Poconos want to remind pet owners about the risks of the heat.

Officials with the shelter bring light on the safety of pets during the hot temperatures and leaving pets inside a vehicle.

“Leave them home. We don’t need you coming back from your grocery shopping and your little baby is struggling or deceased because of how quickly the temperature rises in your car,” stated Kim Fish, general manager of Awsom Animal Shelter.

Fish says Awsom once took in a dog that was left inside a vehicle while its owners went to a Poconos resort.

“The dog was brought here in distress. They didn’t know any better so they learned their lesson. Their baby was fine, but they learned a lesson,” explained Fish.

Testing how warm it got inside my car I sat inside with the car engine off, needing to wipe the sweat off my forehead multiple times as the minutes passed by.

In 2018 Governor Wolf signed the motor vehicle extreme heat protection act which puts stricter penalties in place for pet owners and protects law enforcement from rescuing an animal.

“If we show up and we see that the animal is in distress, a dog or the cat, we break that window of the car to free the animal, then there’s no liability against us as law enforcement,” said Trooper Anthony Petroski, PSP Hazleton.

Trooper Petroski says if you see a pet inside a vehicle in distress call 911 and wait for law enforcement to respond.

State police say pet owners who leave their animals inside a hot vehicle could face criminal charges and possible imprisonment.