May 25, 2016
Heat’s on to keep pets safe
Do not leave your dog in your car. Cortland Community SPCA Animal Cruelty Investigator Bill Carr stressed that sentiment numerous times during a phone interview Monday.
Reports of dogs left in cars rise during the summer, and although Carr did not have an exact number of previous incidents, he said he expects to respond to at least 50 cases this year.
Cortland Police Lt. David Guerrera said Monday morning he responded to two calls of a dog being left in a car last week. In both cases the dogs were fine, but as the temperature continues to rise, the inside of a parked car becomes an even greater danger to the dog.
“People think of cars as a shed, which could provide shade,” Carr said. “But they’re more of a greenhouse. If it is 65 degrees outside the car, it is about 85 degrees inside and climbing the longer it is parked. And this is with windows up or down.”
New York is one of 19 states with a law against leavingan animal in a parked car. Tobe in violation, the animalmust be confined in a motor vehicle in weather that is extremely hot or cold without proper ventilation or other protection. This confinement must place the animal in imminent danger of death or serious injury due to exposure, according to the law.
Guerrera said the pet owner’s punishment depends onthe severity of the situation. They could be issued anappearance ticket, or if the dog is found harmed, the owner could face a misdemeanor charge.
The easy solution is to just leave your dog at home,Carr said. But he is not trying to deter people fromtaking their dog out to thepark. He said people should be proactive in their thinking when taking their dog in the car and when having the dog outside for an extended period of time.
Whether it’s leaving the dog outside in the backyard or taking the dog for a walk in the neighborhood or park, the owner should be cognizant of shaded areas for the dog to rest and always have water for the dog to stay hydrated, Carr said.
Also, he said it is important to know your dog’s personality, if they get along with other dogs or not, and be preparedfor that when going for awalk. For the dogs that don’t get along with other dogs, he recommended a breathable muzzle, which would still allow the dog to pant.
“Be aware of your surroundings,” Carr said. “You’re the only one who can keep your dog safe.”
It is also important to keep track of the humidity every day, limit the dog’s exercise on hot days, don’t rely on afan to cool your dog, because they aren’t as effective for them, provide ample shadeand water, keep them cool inside and out and be prepared for a power outage — prepare a disaster plan and don’t leave your dog in a housewith no power on a warm day — according to humanesociety.org.
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