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Humane Society investigators expect to handle a high volume of cases involving pets in the heat this week

Experts say there is no reason for your pet to be out in extreme weather other than to go the bathroom.
Heatstroke can kill a dog in a matter of minutes
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 6:30 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - As we brace for the brutal and dangerous temperatures, there’s an important reminder from the Toledo Humane Society. It may seem like common sense, but it’s worth repeating, because every year investigators handle multiple cases of pets left in the heat.

Cruelty investigators at the humane society were extremely busy in the extreme heat last week, and they expect things to be worse this week.

“It amazes me that after all these years we still have to do this every season, to tell people to keep their dogs inside in extreme conditions,” said Stephen Heaven, President and CEO of the Toledo Humane Society.

Experts say signs of heatstroke include an elevated breathing rate, excessive drooling and abnormal gum color. Dogs can also be lethargic or disoriented. If you notice those warning signs, you need to get your dog to a vet immediately.

Courtney Schroyer is one of the THS investigators. She says there are a lot of days when she feels like a broken record.

“It’s definitely frustrating. I feel like I’m saying the same thing every day,” said Schroyer. “People sometimes want to argue about it. It’s nice every once in a while when someone says you’re right my dog shouldn’t be out. Most of the time, I feel like I say the same thing over and over dozens of times every day.”

Heaven says many of the cases the humane society investigates involve dogs kept on chains.

“We’ve had people chain up their dogs with water,” said Heaven. “The dog knocks the water over, there’s no shade, and within a half an hour the dog is dead. It happens quickly.”

There are some simple things you can do to keep your pets safe. If you have to take a walk, keep it short. Walk early in the morning or later at night. If you don’t want to bring them in the house, put them in a cool spot like the basement. The bottom line is the heat can kill them in a matter of minutes.

“If they have to sit in a crate inside all day, it is better than being uncomfortable outside. If you have no air conditioning you can put a fan on them to keep them cool,” said Schroyer.

If you see something, say something. Schroyer says plenty of people make calls and those calls have saved lives.

“We truly appreciate the help from the public,” said Schroyer. “Whether it’s a neighbor or someone driving by or just walking down an alley. People are watching. Without some of these calls, we’d never find the animals in need.”

The goal is to keep pets with their people, so in many cases humane society investigators work to educate owners first. If owners don’t follow the suggestions, investigators will seize the animal and file charges.

If you’d like to learn more about the work of the Toledo Humane Society or report a case of suspected cruelty or neglect, you can call (419) 891-0705. You can also, click here.

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