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Nebraska Humane Society sees increase in heat-related calls

Two dogs have died in the metro so far this year due to heat-related illness
Posted at 6:16 PM, Jun 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-17 19:16:06-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As temperatures increase in the metro, so do calls to the Nebraska Humane Society (NHS) about pets left in the heat.

“Last week, we did get a lot of calls for dogs in hot cars. We also got calls for dogs being left outside,” said Pam Wiese, Vice President of PR & Marketing with the Nebraska Humane Society.

Even taking your dog on a walk during weather like this can be risky.

“What I do is I put my hand down and if I put my hand down for five seconds and it's too hot for my hand, I figure boy, it’s too hot for him. They can get blisters," said Wiese.

Pets shouldn’t be outside for more than twenty minutes during really warm days and shade and hydration are necessary.

Additionally, animals left in hot cars lead to completely preventable deaths every year. On an 85 degree day, temperatures in cars can get up to 125 degrees in only twenty minutes, according to Wiese.

"It’s just not worth it. You can avert tragedy so easily if you just don’t take them with you in the car,” said Wiese.

“I believe since June 1st, we’ve received 45 dog in-car calls. That doesn’t include the gross neglect calls of dogs being left out in the heat," said Jeana Spizzirri, animal control officer with NHS.

Spizzirri said two dogs have died in the metro so far this year due to the heat.

“In Omaha, you cannot leave a pet in a parked vehicle for any reason. Even with the AC on in a car, it’s very dangerous," said Spizzirri.

If you see an animal that could be in distress...

"Call us immediately. The sooner you call the quicker we can get out,” said Spizzirri.

Different breeds and older animals are at a higher risk for heatstroke. Some signs include panting, lethargy and increased heart rate.

The phone number for animal control is 402-444-7800.

Visit NHS's website for more information.

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