Increase in calls to WLPD of pets being left in hot cars

As the heat wave comes back across our viewing area, you may want to keep a closer eye on your pets.

Posted: Jul. 11, 2018 11:58 AM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — As the heat wave comes back across our viewing area, you may want to keep a closer eye on your pets. There are things you need to be mindful of to make sure your furry friends have a safe and cool summer.

"It's kind of like the first snow in the winter. People don't realize that, "Oh yeah there's snow, I should probably drive accordingly." Well when it gets hot people don't realize that until it gets brutally hot, then its like, "Oh yeah, I probably shouldn't leave my animal in the car," said West Lafayette police Code Enforcement Officer Rick Walker.

West Lafayette police are getting calls that owners are leaving their pets in cars turned off. 

"We get a handful every summer," Walker said. "This year it's been more acute again because it has been so hot in recent weeks."

Walker said even if your windows are cracked, the temperature can rise 30 degrees in minutes.

"We're talking about if it's 80 degrees outside, now you're looking at 110, 120 degrees," said Walker.

There could be consequences.

"The owners do have an obligation to be mindful or they can face a neglect charge which is a misdemeanor," Walker said. "It could be escalated depending on the severity of the offense itself."

That's not all you need to be mindful of.

"These guys don't sweat like we do," said Purdue Small Animal Community Veterinarian Lorraine Corriveau. "They pant. That's how they give off heat."

Pets that are older or pets with a short-nose like pugs are not able to breath well in hot temperatures. So, try to keep them cool.

"Walk earlier in the mornings, late at night when it's a little bit cooler," said Corriveau.

If you do take your pets for a walk during the day, make sure you do a hand test on the concrete or pavement first.

"If your hand can withstand it then so can their feet," said Corriveau.

But if not, without booties or shoes, their paws could blister if you go for a walk. Make sure you pets are well hydrated.

"And if your dog is an outside dog, you want to make sure that bowl is one that can't be tipped over because an empty bowl doesn't work very well," said Corriveau.

She said every year, she sees pet at the Purdue Small Animal Hospital because of heat stroke.

"If we can prevent it even better," said Corriveau. "Sometimes we can get them through it, sometimes not.

If your pet is overheating you may notice they excessively pant or drool.  If the symptoms are more severe, then your pet should be seen by a veterinarian.

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