TOLEDO, Oh (WTVG) - "People should be keeping their dogs indoors in this weather," Stephen Heaven, President and CEO of the Toledo Area Humane Society said.
He says it's sound advice that people don't always follow, and recently it had deadly consequences.
Right now, two dog owners are under investigation by the humane society's cruelty division after their pets died because they were left outside in oppressive heat and humidity.
Heaven says official charges haven't been filed yet, but that's the direction investigators are headed.
"In the two cases we've already had, we will be prosecuting those owners," Heaven said. "And any instance we come across the rest of the summer, we will be taking them to court as well."
He says in one case the dog was left chained to a cinder block in a backyard. The dog was in direct sunlight, with no shelter and had spilled its water bowl. When the owners went to check on it, it had already died.
The other dog was found in a different backyard, alive. But it was in such bad shape it had to be euthanized.
"It's a hard thing to be a witness to," Dr. Anna Brown, Veterinarian and the Toledo Area Humane Society said.
Dr. Brown says it's hard for pets to cool themselves down, especially in extreme heat. She says, ideally, dogs should limit their time outside, but if they have to stay out, she says it's critical they have ways to stay cool.
A shelter to get out of the sun, a water supply that they can't knock over, and even a small kiddy pool to take a dip could make all the difference.
But it's also important to look for red flags.
"Typically, they're panting heavily, restless, pacing back and forth. Their guns are dark red and their tongues will sometimes get swollen," she said.
At the end of the day the humane society says that these deaths were 100% preventable. Cruelty investigators promise to track down irresponsible owners and hold them accountable.
"There's no excuse for having them out there for prolonged periods of time," Heaven said.
The same rules apply in the car.
Temperatures inside of a vehicle rise rapidly, especially in the summer sun. So, unless the dog is coming inside where ever you're going, it should stay home.