LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Even under a heat advisory the temperatures outside feel cool compared to how it feels inside a car after a few minutes. And in Hot Springs, some pets are suffering as a result.
The sound and smiles adoptions bring are what field officers of the city of Hot Springs Animal Services love to see and hear, but recently, they’ve been broadcasting safety to their followers’ eyes and ears.
Hot Springs Animal Services field officer Joe Gauer explained the conditions that one dog was left in.
“It was 147 degrees for this dog. The dog was suffering, so I had to end up busting out a window to pretty much try and save this dog’s life,” Gauer said.
That dog left in front of the home died of heat stroke Monday, and Tuesday that trend continued with one dog dying and another put up for adoption after they were left outside with no shade, shelter, or water. Hot Springs Animal Services is raising the alarm bell for this to stop.
They have also been breaking glass, such as Gauer did when he found a dog suffering from heat stroke Monday. Gauer said the owner was charged with a felony for animal cruelty.
“We’ve had people make excuses about it. ‘Oh, I didn’t know. Oh, I didn’t mean to do this,” Gauer said. “Anything we wouldn’t want done to ourselves, don’t do to your animals. It’s common sense.”
Even outside the car, dogs are suffering because they don’t have the shade or water to cool off. Tuesday, a different field officer in the City of Hot Springs Animal Services tried to rescue two dogs they allege had no water, shelter or shade. The brother didn’t make it due to heat stroke, and his sister was saved and is currently up for adoption.
City of Hot Springs Animal Services Lieutenant LeeAnn Zaner spoke on the conditions some of these animals face.
“They can’t handle that type of heat. You can’t handle that type of heat,” Zaner urged.
Zaner stated Summer and Winter are some of the most difficult times for shelters because weather seizures and owner surrenders increase.
“As soon as we empty one kennel, two dogs come in,” Zaner added.
That exact instance played out Wednesday. Minutes after one dog was adopted, two were surrendered for cruelty. Already at full capacity, the shelter is asking for help.
“We need you guys to come out and adopt. We really do. We need adopters, but we adopters that are responsible and are prepared for pet ownership.”
The City of Hot Springs Animal Services is hosting an event on Saturday, August 12. Food vendors will be present. Zaner says pet fee specials are likely.