Hot Topic: Animal Control responds to dogs in hot cars - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Hot Topic: Animal Control responds to dogs in hot cars

Hot Topic: Animal Control responds to dogs in hot cars

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Mid-July means 90 plus degree heat, and with it comes yet another warning from Lincoln Animal Control.
"Leave your dogs at home," Officer Jacki Purdham said Monday. "Most importantly there's no reason to take them out in this heat, its too hot."
What Purdham is saying may sound like a broken record, but on days when heat indices start to nudge 100, her agency responds to an average of nine dog in hot car calls alone.
"Its sporadic, its not one place or another but shopping centers seem to be a spotlight for us to go to," she said.
Nebraska is one of 24 states without hot car laws that prohibit leaving unattended animals in vehicles.
But Purdham says, if the situation is dire, Animal Control will step in.
"We look at a lot of different signs and symptoms in the animal," she said. "Are they panting heavily, are they salivating? Is the dog high or low in the car? If the dog is truly in distress and we have to get the animal out then we will get the animal out."
Animal Control says if you want to know what its like to be a dog trapped in a hot car on a summer day, put on your winter coat, then turn off the ignition in your car, and see how long you can last. 
So, I tried it out. When I started, a thermometer in the back seat read 92 degrees, but that quickly  changed.
Four minutes in, and I had to pull my hair back.
I can't imagine what this would feel like for dogs, whose normal body temperature is 102 degrees. 
By the end, I was ready to get out.  
"Your first thought is well I'll crack the windows or I'll park in the shade, and it surprisingly doesn't help as much as you think it would," Dr. Amanda Miller with Nebraska Animal Medical Center said. 
Her clinic has seen at least five dogs with heat exhaustion in the past week, and its not just from cars.
Even something walking or leaving your pup outside in the heat for too long can be dangerous.
"One of my most recent heat stroke patients wasn't in a car but just outside in the yard, which would normally be totally fine," she said. "But with the heat index and the humidity that day it caught up to her."
If you see an animal that looks distressed in a hot car call animal control immediately. Take note of the vehicle's license plate and the dog's description. That will help officials with their response. If you're able to, measure how how hot it is inside and outside the vehicle as well.
If your pet may be suffering from heat exhaustion, take it to the vet.

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