DOWNEY - Wednesday officially marked the first day of summer in Southern California. Although we may be experiencing a bit of "June gloom," the County of Los Angeles Department of Animal Care and Control (DACC) would like to advise pet owners to be mindful of the rising temperatures, as the summer heat approaches us."The temperature inside a vehicle can rise 20 to 30 degrees above the outside temperature in a matter of minutes, putting your pet at risk if left in the car on a warm day," said Maria Mayeda, Director of DACC. "If you like to take your pet with you while running errands or when you travel, make sure you can bring your pet with you when you exit the vehicle. Otherwise, it's best to leave your pets at home." Mayeda said. DACC receives several dozen rescue calls for pets left inside vehicles during the warm months. "Fortunately, we have not had a pet casualty in recent memory, but some have been close calls," cautioned Mayeda. "Our animal control officers have had much success with counseling pet owners on scene. However, we do log their information in our database and advise of criminal charges should it happen again," Mayeda said. Dogs have limited means to cool themselves and can be overcome by heat exhaustion in just a few minutes. Department officials ask that you call your local animal control agency right away if you see a pet locked in a car on a warm day. If the pet appears to be in immediate danger, call 911. Here are some tips to help keep your pets cool during the summer heat: *Always use a safety harness when travelling with a dog in the car. *Bring water and a travel bowl (for dog and cats) to keep them hydrated while traveling. *Never leave pets inside a vehicle, even if parked in the shade or windows left cracked open. *Limit strenuous activity during the warmer hours of the day. *Always have plenty of fresh, cool water available for your pets and a place to escape the heat, while at home. For more information about how to keep your pets cool an comfortable this summer, stop by your local animal care center, visit our website, http://animalcare.lacounty.gov, find us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/CountyofLosAngelesAnimalCare or follow us on Twitter @LACoAnimalCare.
********** Published: June 21, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 10