N.J. targets drivers who leave pets locked up in hot cars — jail awaits out-of-staters

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW JERSEY — They’re on the hunt for animals left inside hot cars. If you get caught, you will be ticketed. If you're from out-of-state, you may find yourself behind bars.

“We’re looking for people who park in the corner of a parking lot under a tree, put the windows down an inch and leave their dog in the car for 2 hours, 3 hours,” said Capt. Rick Yocum of the New Jersey SPCA.

A dozen SPCA officers will be scouring parking lots at shopping centers and beaches from Point Pleasant down to Seaside Park on Saturday. After rescuing and treating the animals, they’ll deal with the humans.

“If they are from out of state we arrest them, we process them, they pay bail and that will ensure they are coming back to NJ to face their charges in court. If it is a New Jersey resident we issue summonses on the spot,” Yocum said.

A summons can run you $250. If you're from out-of-state, you'll be taken to jail. Getting out can cost you upward of $5,000, although a judge will typically give you the chance to pay 10% of bail, which means you’d owe 500 dollars cash. That’s more than the cost of the actual summons.

“If they want to get their $500 back they need to come back to court in the state of New Jersey,” said Yocum.

This is the fourth year the New Jersey SPCA has done this. Each year, Yocum says, they find at least half-a-dozen animals locked in cars.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.