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May 11, 2012 at 4:44 PM

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Seattle Animal Shelter has tips for keeping pets safe in hot weather

The City of Seattle sent out this press release today:

This Mothers' Day weekend, summer-like weather is forecast for the Seattle area. The Seattle Animal Shelter urges pet owners to take preventative measures to keep their pets safe in the warm weather.

"This week we have already had to rescue a pet from a potentially dangerous heat-related situation. Even when we have temperatures in the 70s, the inside of a car left in the sun can reach a fatal 130 degrees in a matter of minutes. When temperatures get up in the 80s or higher, it's advisable to just avoid leaving your pets in a car if at all possible. It's not worth the risk," says Shelter Director Don Jordan.

He reminds pet owners that with the movement of the sun, cars originally left in the shade can soon be in direct sunlight. If you must travel with your pet, Jordan advises carrying water for your pet, and avoiding trips where you have to leave the pet in the car.

Jordan offers the following tips for protecting pets during hot weather:
* Never leave your animal chained or penned up directly in sunlight. Provide a shady area for retreat, such as a dog house, porch or shady tree, and always provide cool water.
* If you leave animals indoors, open the windows, keep a fan running, provide plenty of water, and if possible, leave them in a cool location.
* Never leave dogs or cats unattended in a closed, locked car. Animals do not perspire like humans; they cool themselves by panting and vinyl seats in vehicles can prevent them from perspiring through their paws.
* Avoid overexerting your animal in hot weather. Moderate exercise is fine, but other factors such as obesity or old age, can predispose an animal to the condition.

Pet owners can be held criminally liable for committing cruelty to animals if a pet dies, or is found suffering from heat prostration. If you see an animal that may be in need of assistance, or if you have questions, contact Seattle Animal Shelter at (206) 386-7387, seven days a week, 9:15 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.


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