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Columbia County Observer

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Lake City News

In Wake Of K-9 Officers Death, PETA Offers Tips To Lake City Area Residents For Safeguarding Animals In Hot Weather

Group Warns Against Leaving Animal Companions in Parked Cars

Columbia County, FL — In the wake of the recent death of K-9 officer Trooper who died from heat exhaustion, and with this being the second reported heat-related death of a K-9 Officer in Columbia County in as many years, PETA asks that you share the following lifesaving information with your audience.

On a 78-degree day, the temperature inside a parked car can soar to between 100 and 120 degrees in just minutes, and on a 90-degree day, the interior temperature can reach as high as 160 degrees in less than 10 minutes.

PETA receives reports every year about animals who suffer horrifying deaths during the spring and summer months. During warm weather, even dogs who are left in a car in the shade can quickly succumb to heatstroke and suffer brain damage as a result.

 If you see a dog showing any symptoms of heatstroke—including restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy, and lack of appetite or coordination—get the animal into the shade immediately.

You can lower a symptomatic dog's body temperature by providing the dog with water, applying a cold towel to the dog's head and chest, or immersing the dog in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then immediately call a veterinarian.

PETA makes the following suggestions for safeguarding animals:

  •   Keep dogs inside: Unlike humans, dogs can only sweat through their footpads and cool themselves by panting. Soaring temperatures can cause heat stress, injury, or death.
  •   Water and shade: If animals must be left outside, they should be supplied with ample water and shade, and the shifting sun needs to be taken into account. Even brief periods of direct exposure to the sun can have life-threatening consequences.
  •   Walk, don't run: In very hot, humid weather, never exercise dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you jog. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too late to save them.
  •   Avoid parked cars: Never leave an animal in a parked car in warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open. Dogs trapped inside parked cars can succumb to heatstroke within minutes—even if the car isn't parked in direct sunlight.
  •   Never transport animals in the bed of a pickup truck: This practice is dangerous—and illegal in many cities and states—because animals can catapult out of the truck bed on a sudden stop or choke if they jump out while they're tied up.
  •   Stay alert and save a life: Keep an eye on all outdoor animals. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you see an animal in distress, provide water for immediate relief and then contact humane authorities right away.

PETA's warm-weather public service announcements featuring Laura Bell Bundy are available to link to or download here (for print) and here (for online).

For even more tips, visit PETA.org

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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