People in the Maritimes are being reminded not to leave pets in vehicles during the hot weather.

Though reminders go out every year, police say pets continue to be put in harm's way.

"Even with the windows left open, the temperature inside the vehicle can rise quite quickly, causing potentially fatal conditions for your pet," said Sgt. Christina Martin for the Halifax Regional Police.

At an SPCA animal wash event in Fredericton, dog owners told CBC News they knew the risks of leaving a pet in the car during the summer months.

"We don't leave him in the car. We have the air conditioning in the car if we're in there with him. So, we don't leave him in there alone at all," says Joe Hall.

"She goes with me every time during the fall and the winter, but summertime she stays home," says Martha-Jo Hoyt.

But some pet owners still aren't getting the message.

Police had to free a pit bull from a car in Moncton Friday.

"A dog or a cat's temperature is a lot higher than ours and the temperature inside a car can reach up to 200, 250 degrees in a matter of minutes," says Karen McGeean, vice president of the Fredericton SPCA.

Dr. Ali Crandlemire, a veterinarian, says it doesn't take long for heat to dilate blood vessels, shutdown organs and even clot blood. 

"If they have a short-nose breed, or puppies or overweight dogs, then the effects would happen even sooner in those dogs," Crandlemire said. "So even a few minutes, a quick trip inside could start to have effects from the heat."

Officials say if you see an animal in distress, call your local police.