Sacramento County Animal Shelter Reminds Everyone to Protect Their Pets from the Heat

Sacramento, CA May 1, 2014 – The warm temperatures are here and that means extra caution must be taken to protect pets from heat stroke.  The County Animal Shelter reminds pet owners of taking precautions to ensure their animals stay safe and cool during the upcoming hot summer months.  The most common threat is an animal left in a vehicle.

“Do not leave your pet in your car for a minute, not even with the air conditioner on,” states Dave Dickinson, Director of Animal Care and Regulation.  “An outside temperature of 85-degrees can heat up to 102 inside the car in ten-minutes.  In a half-hour the internal temperature would be 120 degrees.   This can cause irreparable damage, even death.”

If you see animals in danger and potential neglect or abuse cases, please contact the Animal Shelter to report the issue at 916-368-7387 or law enforcement.

Tips on how to protect your pet from heat:

  • Never leave your dog or any animal in an unattended motor vehicle or parked car under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of the animal due to heat, lack of adequate ventilation or lack of food and water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal: It is against California law 597.7(a) and is punishable by fine, or felony prosecution. Cracking a window or leaving a bowl of water won’t protect your pets. 
  • Avoid extreme heat: When temperatures get above 90 degrees, bring your pet inside. For outdoor pets, be sure to provide them with plenty of fresh, cold water in a tip‐proof water dish and adequate shade and shelter for them to cool down. 
  • Use sunscreen: Pets get sunburned just like people, and if your pet has light skin and/or a mostly white coat, they can be particularly susceptible to a painful burn and skin cancer. Use sunscreen on sensitive areas, such as ears and nose to make sure your pets are protected. 
  • Don’t run your dog or over-exert your pet: Exercise in warm temperatures can be harmful. Animals, like people, are susceptible to life-threatening activity-related heat stroke.

    If your pet has been exposed to high temperatures:
  • Be alert for signs of heat stress, including heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, staggering gait, vomiting, or a deep red or purple tongue.
  • Move your pet immediately to the shade to help lower their temperature immediately. Apply cool (not cold) water to the pet.  Apply ice packs and cool towels to your pet’s head, neck, and chest.
  • Take your pet to a veterinarian immediately.  It could save their life.

More protection recommendations and tips on what to do if your animal becomes overheated are available online at www.SacCountyShelter.net.

The County Animal Shelter is open Wednesday through Friday from 12:30 - 5:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from Noon–4:30 p.m. and is closed Monday and Tuesday and most holidays.  The shelter is located at 3839 Bradshaw Road, one mile south of Highway 50.

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