Pets

Six dogs perish in Sacramento after owners fail to protect them from intense heat

What to do if you see a dog in a hot car

California has a new law to help save dogs stuck in cars on hot days. These are the steps to follow if you need to rescue an animal.
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California has a new law to help save dogs stuck in cars on hot days. These are the steps to follow if you need to rescue an animal.

The Front Street Animal Shelter has posted a picture of a covered bulldog who succumbed to the heat and lack of care from its owner – and the dog was unfortunately not the only canine to recently die due to high temperatures in Sacramento.

The stark picture of the purebred dog under a tarp is accompanied by text that said the city animal shelter has had at least six dogs recently delivered by pet owners for disposal.

“The stark reality of hot weather affecting animals left without shade or fresh water is real at Front Street,” reads the message from the shelter.

The shelter advises pet owners that if they can’t bring their dogs inside their homes on hot days, at least give pets a place to stay out of the sun and fresh water:

“We understand that not all dogs get to live inside, but if you have an outdoor dog, remember that they still need your care. The staff at Front Street work very hard to provide a safe place for the animals in our shelter, but our hearts ache when things like this happen.”

Breeds that have short snouts, such as bulldogs and pugs, are more susceptible to heat exhaustion.

Front Street Animal Shelter Director Gina Knepp said Friday the shelter has taken in several deceased dogs this week from owners. In most cases, the owner says they have no idea how the animal died.

The shelter has received mostly large breed dogs, said spokesman Bobby Mann. “I think most people assume that large breed dogs can deal with the climate and the elements better than small breed dogs. The reality is that regardless of their size, pets don’t have the ability to sustain these sort of elements.”

“In our experience, it is clear by the increased number of disposal requests and body condition, that the culprit was heat related,” Knepp said in an email. “While we wished all pets lived inside on the couch with air conditioning, we know that is not a reality.”

Bill Lindelof: 916-321-1079, @Lindelofnews

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