Summer Heat Safety Reminders for Your Pets from CMPD Animal Care & Control

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina — (Press Release) The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care and Control Division (AC&C) reminds pet owners that it’s that time of year again when we hear fireworks and thunderstorms, and experience hot temperatures! Please be aware of how this affects your pets as summer thunderstorms and heat waves pass through our area.

Each year, AC&C responds to numerous service calls for animals left inside vehicles. All AC&C officers wear infrared thermometers and once they gain access to the vehicle, they will measure the temperature inside. If an animal is found inside a vehicle and is in distress, officers can break the window in order to gain entry to help the animal. Animal cruelty citations may be issued if the totality of the incident warrants it.

What should I do if I see an abandoned animal in a vehicle?

  • If the animal does not respond, call 911 immediately, they will dispatch CMPD and Animal Care & Control agents.
  • If the animal is not in distress and meets your needs, call 311 and it will be logged as a priority call for Animal Care & Control.

PETS

  • Walk or exercise with your pets early in the morning or late at night.
  • Carry water and a portable water bowl and offer frequent breaks.
  • Monitor them frequently while you walk and reduce the level and duration of your exercises.
  • Pay attention to humidity as it also makes it harder for animals to breathe.
  • Certain breeds are more likely to have respiratory problems. (Brachycephalic or Short-Muzzled Dogs)
    • pugs
    • Boxers
    • bulldogs
    • boston terriers
    • Pekingese
    • Shar-Pei
    • Shih Tzu

When walking dogs, do not let your dog stand on hot asphalt, pavement or sand. The paw pads are sensitive and burn easily. If it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for the pads!

VEHICLES AND ANIMALS

  • Never leave your pet in a vehicle, even if you just run into the store for a minute.
  • Parking in the shade does not help.

PETS THAT LIVE OUTSIDE

  • In extreme temperatures, bring pets indoors.
  • Provide plenty of fresh, cold water.
  • Provide shade and shelter such as a dog house or igloo.
  • Let the dogs cool off in a kiddie pool.
  • Always use fresh water and pour it out when you’re done.

IF THE PET IS EXPOSED TO HIGH TEMPERATURES

  • Watch for signs of heat stress. Heavy panting, glassy eyes, rapid pulse, unsteadiness, staggering gait, vomiting, or dark red or purple tongue.
  • If your pet becomes too hot (temperature of 103 degrees or more), you should immediately lower the body temperature
  • Move your pet to the shade and apply cool (not cold) water all over the body to gradually lower the temperature
  • Apply cool (not icy) towels to your pet’s head, neck and chest
  • Let your pet drink small amounts of cool water or lick ice cubes
  • Take your pet straight to a veterinarian!

SAVE THE DATE TO PREPARE FOR YOUR PET’S DAY!

Boyd S. Abbott