Animals Suffer in Valley Heat Wave

May 19, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Tulare county residents took the proper steps to stay safe over the four day heat wave. But south valley animal control workers were busy all weekend trying to protect pets from the heat's dangers.This shepherd mix was found abandoned on Saturday with no food or water. Animal control officers say he was suffering from severe heat exhaustion, which can be all too common during triple digit temperatures.

Joseph Brainard, animal control, says "Some they're at home in their backyards without any kind of shading or water. I mean we have calls for no food but the actual priorities is going to the water they need the water to keep themselves cool."

Brainard says pet owners face hundreds of dollars in fines if they leave their pet without water and shade in these high temperatures.

These animals at the Valley Oak SPCA in Visalia are kept cool with air conditioning and constant water. SPCA officials advise treating a pet like you would yourself.

Lanie Wagenburg, SPCA, says "If it's too hot for you to be outside it's too hot for your pet, basically you should go out evaluate your yard and make absolutely sure there are shady areas and that the dog has plenty of water."

Signs of pet exhaustion include constant panting, disorientation and a rapid pulse.