7 Dogs Die Of Heatstroke In Indiana

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control (FWACC) is imploring residents to be careful with their pets as sweltering hot weather caused 7 dogs to die of heatstroke in Indiana.

The animal shelter reported that seven dogs had died from excessive heat. This heart-breaking news came with warnings that other dogs could also be at risk. The shelter responded to 22 calls for dogs being left in vehicles and 27 suspected neglect cases of dogs being left outside without proper shelter, food or water.

Amy Jo-Sites

The director of FWACC, Amy-Jo Sites, mentioned a good Samaritan law in Indiana that allows people to legally break into a vehicle if they see an animal in danger. So, if a dog is suffering in a hot car, a person can break into the car and rescue the dog. But the law also says the person will have to pay for half the cost of repairing the damage.

“It’s no different than someone applying first aid as a good Samaritan, you are doing the best that you can in the time frame that you have in order to make sure that no further damage occurs.”

Amy-Jo Sites
dog in car
Photo: Don’t leave your dog in a car! | Openverse

The law itself was passed in 2017 by the Indiana General Assembly, so it’s been around a while. If you see a dog near expiring in a car, you must be a person that…

  1. reasonably believes that the domestic animal is in imminent danger of suffering serious bodily harm;
  2. determines that the motor vehicle is locked and forcible entry of the motor vehicle is necessary to remove the domestic animal;
  3. calls 911 or otherwise attempts to contact a law enforcement officer or another emergency responder before forcibly entering the motor vehicle;
  4. uses no more force than reasonably necessary; and
  5. remains with the domestic animal until a law enforcement officer or other emergency responder arrives

Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control has the following safety tips to offer to pet owners:

  • Keep pets inside in an air-conditioned and cool environment.
  • When playing with your pets outside, make sure they have food and water, and proper shelter from the sun and heat. Best not to have the dogs outside more than 15 minutes when the temperature is above 85 degrees. If the temperature is more than this, they should only be let outside for a toilet break and then come back inside.
  • Don’t walk your dog during the middle of the day when it’s hottest. Go for a pleasant walk in the morning, or the early evening, when things have cooled down. Check to make sure the pavement or asphalt is not too hot, or give your pooch some paw protection if it is hot.
  • Keep a close watch for heatstroke signs. These might be heavy panting, dry or bright red gums, thick drool, diarrhea, and vomiting.
  • You should never leave your dog in a car. It’s just not worth the risk of heatstroke. The temperature can rise very quickly. In no time at all, a dog can be suffering heatstroke, and along with the plastic and rubber smells, get overwhelmed by the heat. Opening the window might have no effect at all in hot weather, so just don’t leave them in the car.

If you have any questions or would like to report an incident to Fort Wayne Animal Care & Control (FWACC) call 260-427-1244. The shelter encourages people to keep a watch for any dogs that might be in distress becaue of hot weather, and you can do a good deed by helping to save a dog’s life.

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