Heatwaves may lead to death of pets left outside

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The dog days of summer are taking their toll on pets. Many dogs are left outside during the day but this may turn deadly when the forecast is factored into the equation.

“In these types of situations, just having a dog house isn’t good enough,” says Greenville Animal Protective Services Director Tim Langley.

With temperatures soaring near the one hundred mark and the heat index in the trip digits, animals are at risk of suffering from heat stroke. Tim Langley with Greenville Animal Protective Services says owners need to keep a close eye on their pets.

“It’s not like it’s hot like this all the time but in severe heat like this, proper care and attention means that you need to monitor that animal to make sure that animal is okay,” says Langley.

The state requires certain standards of care that should help keep your dog alive.

“There are so many variables with the heat and pets,” says veterinarian Dr. Mark Hayes. “What is essential is that you have to provide shade and you have to provide a reliable source of water.”

But these requirement do not always translate and some dogs still die because of oversight and unfortunate mistakes. The breed of your dog, length of their coat, age, and pre-existing medical conditions are just some of the things that affect how your dog handles the heat. Once your dog suffers from heat stroke, it’s hard to tell what will happen next.

“It can be hard to identify heat stroke in a dog,” says Hayes.”Normally what we see when they come in is they are collapsed and sometimes their body temperatures are 106 degrees or higher. Some of those you can save and some of those you can’t save.”

The City of Greenville has an ordinance that allows Animal Protective Services Officers to take a dog if they believe the conditions are dire. Langley recommends neighbors keep a close eye on their neighborhood pets and if you believe a dog is too hot contact the department so no more families suffer a lost this summer.

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