The sweltering temperatures nationwide and in the Valley over the past three days have people at risk as well as their pets.
Police across the Valley have seen an increase in phone calls about people leaving their pets in cars with little or no ventilation.
Leaving a pet in a car for too long on a hot day can result in serious dehydration and even death.
Augusta County Animal Control Officer Dwight Strickler says there's a simple rule of thumb to follow when it comes to leaving your pet unattended in a car.
"The big thing is if you go out. If you wouldn't stay in your car, or you wouldn't leave your child in your car, why leave the dog in the car? Don't take him with you. Leave him at home where it's a whole lot cooler," explains Strickler.
He says, if it's 85 degrees outside, it only takes ten minutes for the temperature inside the car to reach 102 degrees, even if the windows have been left open an inch or two.
Even pulling into a shady spot in the parking lot doesn't help keep a pet any cooler.
"If you pull into a parking lot and you pull up under a tree thinking the shade is going to help you, just remember the shade is always moving, the sun is moving, shade offers very little help," adds Strickler.
Leaving an animal inside a hot car could also result in an animal cruelty charge.
Law enforcement officials say many of the calls they respond to when pets are left in vehicles are more often than not travelers who pass through the Valley due to the interchange of interstates 81 and 64, and not from Valley residents.
© Copyright 2014 WHSV / Gray Television Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.