The Arden Fair Mall was packed Friday with shoppers running errands and keeping cool.
“It’s better to be in here than out there,” said shopper Tammy Bonner. “Right now, my A/C bill is really out of control, so yeah. I’d rather be here to use their free air.”
Free for Tammy, but not for the mall.
Arden Fair spends $110,000 a month to keep the building air conditioned in the summer. In the winter, it costs them $80,000.
Since there are no cooling centers in Sacramento, residents are urged to go to malls and libraries to cool off.
Malls and libraries are good options for humans, but what about pets?
“Pets need as much care and concern as children or seniors when it comes to hot weather,” said Karen Dickenson, with the City of Sacramento Animal Care Services.
Animals need plenty of water and shelter. Dickenson says to bring your pets inside. If you can’t, she suggests leaving them in the shade with plenty of fresh water and put towels on the concrete so paws don’t burn.
“Do not bring your animal at all in the car. Cracking the window does not correct the problem of the heat,” Dickenson told FOX40. “The care will still get too hot.”
Dickenson is not kidding, either. FOX40 used a heat gun, much like what Animal Control officers keep in their vehicles, to measure the heat inside a car parked in the sun. Temperatures inside got to be around 144 degrees.
A car in the shade got to be 101 degrees, which is still too hot for an animal.
Even a FOX40 live truck, parked just 10 minutes, got to be 111 degrees. At those temperatures, animals can get heat stroke, go into convulsions and even die if they’re left in hot cars.
“There is an ordinance for that and we do cite people,” said Dickenson. “And the citation starts at $100 and goes up from there.”