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Using the law to keep dogs safe

It’s a crime to leave your dog in the heat
Posted at 7:31 PM, Jun 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-15 22:31:54-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Most people can find ways to stay safe from the heat but may leave their pets trapped with no way to stay cool and hydrated. The law says that is a crime. KGUN 9 went along as a Pima Animal Care Center officer investigated a call about dogs left out in the heat.

We’re talked a lot about how dangerous this heat can be for people, but a lot of people are careless, or clueless about protecting their pets from this weather.

A call about animals trapped in the heat brings Animal Care Officer Jordan Kiser to a home in Oro Valley.

A Rottweiler runs up as Kiser looks over the back fence.

“What cha doing Bud? How’s it going? How y’all doing?” (The dog barks and growls) “No, you be nice!”

Scanning the yard, he says, “So the things I’m looking for would be things like dog doors, which would allow dogs access into the home which would negate our want to find water and shelter because I’m not seeing a dog door or any other way they could get in the house.”

“There’s no water in the kiddie pool, no water in the fountain, I do not see water and at this point I do not see shelter. So this is gonna be a problem.”

There’s no answer when Officer Kiser knocks on the door. He decides the animals are in enough danger that he needs to take them to the shelter.

One of the Rottweilers seems like he’ll cooperate and go on a leash; but the other makes it clear he will not.

Another officer arrives and they restrain the dogs with a pole with a loop that goes around the dog's neck. Officer Kiser says the effect on the dog is like a leash but the pole gives him enough control to keep the dog from lunging back to bite.

The dogs go in the air conditioned truck for the trip to Pima Animal Care.

A follow up in the yard discovers a small bowl of dirty water. The thermometer shows the water is 115 degrees, and the ground is about 140 degrees.

Officer Kiser says some people don’t realize even if their dog has shade in the morning the shade could disappear as the day goes on.

“As that sun angle changes that shade is going to change, and the small structure that was in the backyard with a shade covering is no longer going to be effective.”

He says if this yard had a dog house that might have helped but a dog house needs an extra shade above it or it will be dangerously hot.

The dogs seized here will be examined and held and the owners could face criminal misdemeanors for the day the dogs spent in the heat.