Letters – Pets should be protected from heat, too
To the Editor:
We are now in excess of 21 days of heat over 101 degrees. It is being reported that the damage that heat can do to our bodies inside and outside, stress to our animals is now taking the lives of loved ones. Haven’t we been warned?
An animal died last week due to heat exhaustion. A man died in Austin on July 15 due to heat. A child had secon
d-degree burns on her leg due to the heat of the plays cape on the same day. Almost half of those days were between 103-105 degrees.
On July 15, I witnessed a tragic display of irresponsibility. I saw someone that is medically trained to know that the heat can kill an animal within minutes leave their own dog in a car at noon.
During a 30-minute timeframe while this person sat in a restaurant to eat, they left a small dog in their car with only a small amount of air from the window for the dog to “keep cool.”
She was approached by a friend I was having lunch with to ask if that was their car with the dog in it. It was discussed that it was extremely hot outside and that the dog needed attention. Sadly, both parties sitting there seemed unconcerned, but left when the attention was shared that there was concern.
Dr. James Wright, State Veterinarian, sent out an email June 2009 to all divisions that would handle the need to educate and support the life of an animal. Anyone from vets, nurses, animal control, Parks & Wildlife, DPS, etc., was notified. In that email were the following statistics:
A Stanford University test found that when it is 72 degrees outside, a car’s internal temperature can rocket to 116 degrees within an hour, even with windows cracked. When it is 85 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can soar to 102 degrees in 10 minutes and 120 degrees in 30 minutes. A dog can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.”
In an article from MyDogIsCool.com, they say ,”every year, dogs die after being locked inside cars while their owners leave them to shop or run errands, often for ‘just a few minutes.’ These tragedies occur with alarming frequency, yet the animals’ deaths are completely preventable,’ said UAN President and CEO Nicole Forsyth.”
We all need to be aware of the seriousness of this heat. We dehydrate faster and become more disoriented when we are in the heat for too long. Our children and our animals don’t always have the knowledge or the voice to speak up when it becomes a danger to their own bodies. We must take responsible action to protect all life forms.
I pray that we all take better care in this heat.