Austin, Texas – With record-breaking high temperatures expected this weekend in Texas, animals can quickly succumb to heatstroke if left outdoors. In the past two years, there have been at least 114 hot weather–related animal deaths—and these are just the ones that have been reported. Most aren’t.
Anyone who leaves animals outside to suffer in severe weather may be prosecuted for cruelty.
The following tips will help keep animal companions safe in hot weather:
- Keep animals indoors. Unlike humans, dogs can sweat only through their footpads and cool themselves by panting, so even brief sun exposure can have life-threatening consequences. Anyone who sees animals in distress and is unable to help should note their locations and alert authorities immediately.
- Never leave an animal inside a hot vehicle. Temperatures can quickly soar in parked cars, and a dog trapped inside can die from heatstroke within minutes—even if the car is in the shade with the windows slightly open, which has little to no effect on lowering the temperature inside the car. PETA offers an emergency window-breaking hammer for help with intervening in life-or-death situations.
- Avoid hot pavement. When outdoor temperatures reach the 80s, asphalt temperatures can climb to 140 degrees, causing pain, burns, and permanent damage to dogs’ paws after just a few minutes of contact. Walk dogs on grass whenever possible, and avoid walking in the middle of the day. Never run with dogs in hot weather—they’ll collapse before giving up, at which point, it may be too late to save them.