Heat takes toll on pets, 5 deaths reported in Montgomery Co. - WSMV News 4

Heat takes toll on pets, 5 deaths reported in Montgomery Co.

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With temperatures in the mid-90s on Wednesday, pets are at a high risk of heat-related illnesses, even death.

At Montgomery County Animal Care and Control, Officer Rodney Journey said in the last month, they’ve responded to five heat-related deaths. Normally, they see five deaths for the entire summer.

“It’s really easy to keep (pets) from dying,” Journey said. “If you got them chained up, make sure the chain goes far enough to go into the shade and that the water bucket is in such a way that the chain won’t knock it over.

“They got to have shade, and they got to have a lot of water,” he added.

At the Metro Animal Control Center in Nashville, manager Lauren Bluestone said calls always go up during the summer.

“I wish people would recognize as far as the outside temperature goes, if it’s hot for you, it’s hot for them,” Bluestone said.

Bluestone added, if you come across a dog in distress, “The one thing you don’t want to do is actually give it water. You want to soak the animal in cooler water temperatures before going to the vet to seek treatment right away.”

Ultimately, the best way to avoid a heat-sick animal is to take them inside.

“In the heat, there’s no sure way to keep a dog from getting heat exhaustion, except for putting them inside,” Journey said.

Another sign to look out for with dogs is their tongue. Animal control officials say when their tongue starts to hanging out on the side, that's a bad sign. Also, if the dog's tongue also turns a dark red sort of purple color, that means the dogs can't drink water. The dog will then go into full-on heat exhaustion.

Here's another helpful tip. If you're taking your pet for a walk on the pavement, walk barefoot. If it's too hot for your feet, it's too hot for your animal's paws.

Local law enforcement is also changing their approach to patrols in the heat. A spokesperson with Metro police said they're on the lookout for elderly and homeless out in this heat.

They're asking for neighbors to check on each other and for the community to keep an eye out for children and pets left in cars.

If you see something, call 911.

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