By Linh Bui

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This time of year is when police start seeing pets trapped in hot cars–because what feels good to us, can be deadly to them. Between Maryland’s heat and humidity, cars quickly become death-traps for animals with no way out.

WJZ investigates this dangerous trend.

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What Linh Bui tells you could save your pet’s life.

A scorching summer day in Annapolis. Temperatures near 90 degrees. At a busy shopping center–a devastating discovery.

“A woman has left her dog in the car for the past two hours while she was having lunch and the dog is near death right now,” the 911 caller said.

Anne Arundel County Officer Travis Ott finds the 15-year-old Yorkie barely alive.

“It’s unimaginable what it felt like for that dog,” said Corporal Travis Ott, Anne Arundel County Police Department.

Bui: “When you found the dog, what did she look like?”

Ott: “Suffering from heat stroke, discharge from its mouth. Pretty much just lifeless, barely breathing–barely struggling to hold on.”

Officer Ott rushes the dog to an emergency vet, but it’s too late. Monifa Pendleton, 44, charged in the death of her dog.

“She was very distraught over what happened and wished she could rewind time, but unfortunately she couldn’t,” said Ott.

It’s a dangerous and deadly trend.

In New York, a man leaves a dog locked in a hot car for hours, killing it.

And in North Carolina, a police dog dies after being left in a patrol car overnight.

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“We all feel like it won’t happen to us, but yet it does,” said K.C. Theisen, Humane Society of the U.S.

Bui: “Why does this keep happening?”

Theisen: “What people don’t realize is that it’s so much more dangerous for our pets than it is for us. They can’t sweat. Humans are blessed with this internal air conditioning system all over our body–our pets don’t have that.”

A 70 degree day feels great to us, but for our pets, it can be very dangerous. Watch how quickly temperatures rise inside the car.

“They can have organ damage, brain damage, so many things can go wrong. It’s just never worth it,” said Theisen.

Police tell WJZ this time of year, it happens every day. Some pets die, others rescued just in time–thanks to alert animal lovers.

“These dogs were trapped essentially in an oven… a car is a metal box and it’s picking up heat from the asphalt, the sunlight is beating down and the dogs were suffering,” said Cindy Frankel, Pet Rescue of Maryland.

Cindy Frankel, who runs Pet Rescue of Maryland, has saved many pets trapped in hot cars.

Most recently, in the Petco parking lot in Timonium, where the owner wears she was only gone for five minutes.

Bui: “You said it was 18 minutes–that’s a long time.”

Frankel: “Actually, that is deadly. In the temperatures we had–that’s why we knew those dogs were really in trouble.”

Bui: “To that person who wants to bring their dog out with them to run errands, what do you say to them?”

Frankel: “This is your best friend. Leave that dog at home in the coolest part of your house with nice, fresh water… Please, please leave your dogs at home.”

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Heat, humidity and the sun are a dangerous combination. Even now, temperatures inside a car can rise more than 20 degrees in just a few minutes.

Linh Bui