EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — There are 31 states that have laws in place to protect pets that are left unattended in hot cars, according to the Michigan State University College of Law.
Every state in New England is included in the list with protection laws in place.
Leaving your pet unattended in a car could impact their health in a matter of minutes.
If found guilty of certain animal cruelty charges in Rhode Island, you could face jail time.
In two of the three cases locally over the weekend, pet owners are facing multiple charges. In some cases, each charge could result in multiple years in prison.
According to police, three dogs have died after they were found unresponsive inside a parked vehicle outside McQuades Market in Jamestown on Sunday.
Connecticut enacted a law that permits any citizen to rescue a distressed animal and limits the criminal liability of any damage resulting from forcible entry.
Police ask people to stay alert during the summer months.
Authorities stress the importance of reporting animals locked in cars, or anything that seems out of the ordinary, by calling 911.