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PACC sees influx of pets suffering from heat exhaustion

TUCSON – It has been in the hundreds consistently in Tucson and this heat is affecting our pets.

“Dogs are supposed to be part of the family and that’s why we adopt them right? So that they can be our companions, so I think especially in this environment, leaving them outside is definitely not good for them,” said Lori Mahle, dog owner.

Mahle never leaves her dogs outside in the heat of the day. If they want to go outside, she has water bowls and a small pool for them to play in. And when she is outside, she pays attention to how they are acting.

“Intolerance is a sign, like stopping to lay down and not wanting to get up,” said Mahle. “You should let them rest for a while.”

Over at Pima Animal Care Center (PACC), dogs are being brought in daily, suffering from heat exhaustion.

“We are taking in such a high volume of animals and most of those pets have been left out in the heat,” said Kristen Hassen-Auerbach, Director of Animal Services at PACC. “They come in and they’re often times in major distress and we basically have to save their lives while they come in and get their temperatures down and we do that through a number of means. But what’s happening is people don’t recognize that animals have the exact same needs as humans. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pet to be outside.”

Auerbach says to treat your pet like a child. Make sure there is shade, plenty of water, and a breeze if they are outside.

“We are finding a lot of dogs left in contained spaces and they’re not directly in the sunlight, they have shade, but if they don’t have air-flow it is no better,” Auerbach said.

If your dog is open-mouthed panting and lethargic, it is likely dehydrated. If you are not able to cool it off by bringing it inside and getting it water, Auerbach says to take your pet to the vet.

If you see a dog that you think is in serious danger, call 9-1-1.

If you think a pet is not getting what it needs, but you are not immediately worried, call PACC’s Animal Protection Dispatch Unit at 520-724-5900 ext. 4. There is more information HERE.

Kendra Hall

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