Sweltering summer days are here and so are heat-related illnesses that could affect your pets.
“Fresh water and shade become especially crucial during the warm weather months,” said Kara Ells with the Hollister Animal Shelter. “Animal owners should make sure to check water bowls frequently, especially when their animals are housed outside.”
California law says animals are required to have food, water and a five-sided shelter at all times. It’s also important that animals are not left unattended in vehicles when temperatures begin to climb.
“The temperature of a vehicle becomes much hotter inside than on the outside,” Ells said. “You can imagine that if the temperature outside of the vehicle is already 101 degrees, an animal left inside of that vehicle would be much hotter.”
Animals left unattended in a hot car can not only be deadly for the animal, but it is against the law. The California Penal Code 597.7 states, “a person shall not leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle in conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to an animal.”
In an effort to prevent deadly cases, animal control officers from Hollister Police Animal Care and Services patrol parking lots and special events during hot months looking for animals left in vehicles that are suffering in the heat.
Hollister Animal Shelter encourages everyone to just leave their animals at home instead.
To be prepared for a heat-related emergency with your pet, the shelter advises all pet owners to carry contact information for their local veterinarian.
If you see a dog suffering from symptoms of heat stroke which include excessive lethargy, disorientation, collapse, vomiting, diarrhea, heavy panting, and bright red gums, immediately call Hollister Animal Shelter at (831) 636-4320.