The extreme heat everyone has been battling over the last several weeks has led to more calls to animal control.
Across the metro, animal control officers are seeing a spike in the number of calls into their office. In Lenexa, KS, they said calls are evening out because they're getting less nuisance calls, but more heat-related ones.
"When the temperatures aren't as bad, someone may be walking into the grocery store and they see an animal in a car and they may not be as inclined to call, but especially when the temperatures are in the 100 degrees, I think people do contact us more frequently," Crystal Hardman with Lenexa Animal Control said.
Hardman is spending more time out in the field answering calls, and not just any calls. Hardman said with the temperatures soaring, more and more people are calling into their office when they see dogs locked up in cars while their owners run into the store.
"Especially in the summer, people don't want children or pets left in cars and they are prone to calling when they do see that," she said.
"It only takes a moment or two out in this sort of heat for your pet to get into trouble," Dr. Jeff Dennis with BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Medicine for Pets veterinary clinic in Overland Park said.
Dennis said his office isn't seeing as many heat-related cases. Despite the temps, he credits those who are being more vigilant and calling animal control and police when they first see an animal in trouble, as well as owners making good decisions and bringing their pets inside.
Dennis also said it's not a good idea with the extreme heat to be jogging with your dog and taking them for a car ride.
"The heat inside a parked car, especially with the windows up or partly up, is much higher than out in the ambient air, so temperatures can easily reach 120, 130, 140 degrees. You put a panting dog inside the car and it becomes very humid, so everything just compounds itself," he said.
Hardman said she too believes most people are being extra cautious so, while their heat calls are up, their noise complaints are down because fewer dogs are being left outside. Hardman said usually, when they come across a dog left in a car, they try to get the owner to bring the dog home and they educate them about the dangers. Occasionally they can issue a ticket for neglect, but their goal is to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"Pets are family and people look at it as just taking another family member with them when they're just running errands. When we go out and contact people that have left pets in cars, we really do try to educate - maybe they don't realize how hot the car gets inside when they're not there," Hardman said.
For those who think their dog is overheating, Dennis offers the following advice:
-Call your vet right away.
-Get out of the heat.
-Get your dog wet with room-temperature water.
-Put a fan on your dog.
-Keep them in a cool environment.
-If it looks to be an extreme case of overheating, get your pet to the vet so they can administer fluids via an IV.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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