Staying Cool in the Heat
Summertime in southeast Louisiana can be very hot, and it’s essential to be mindful of your pets during these hot months . Just like humans, pets can overheat and even suffer from heatstroke. Keep your pets healthy by following these tips:
- Always keep plenty of cool water available for your pets. Just like you, your pet needs to stay hydrated when the temperatures spike.
- Absolutely never leave your pet in the car, even with the window cracked. The temperature inside a car can climb 40 degrees in just one hour.
- Avoid walking your dog on hot surfaces. Remember that your dog’s feet can be burned easily walking on surfaces like hot asphalt.
- If your dog likes long walks, plan to do so in the early mornings or evening hours when the temperatures are slightly lower. Bring water and a bowl to keep your dog hydrated.
- Make sure your pet is in the shade if you are spending time outside.
- Certain dog and cat breeds with flatter faces, like pugs or Persian cats, are more susceptible to heatstroke.
- Believe it or not, pets can get sunburnt too! If you are going to be in the sun they make sunscreens that are specifically made for pets, or one that’s safe for babies with sensitive skin.
Be on the lookout for signs of heatstroke like: excessive panting, weakness, lethargy, dark red gums, drooling and rapid heartbeat.
If you find an animal trapped in a hot car, follow these steps carefully to make sure you are acting in accordance with the law:
- First, call out for the animal’s owner. Explore in a 30-foot radius around the car to search for the owner.
- If you can’t find the owner call 911.
- Enter the vehicle with as little damage as possible and remove the animal.
- Once the animal is safe in your care, write a note to leave for the vehicle owner letting them know that appropriate authorities have been contacted. Leave your contact information, your reason for entry into the vehicle, and the location of their animal.
- Once you have completed these steps, remain in a safe location with the animal while you wait for emergency personnel to arrive.
Louisiana’s Good Samaritan Law, also known as Act No. 360, went into effect on August 1, 2018, and protects you from civil liability in the event of a necessary rescue of an animal or minor left alone in a car. It provides immunity from liability for property damage or trespass to a motor vehicle if the damage was caused while rescuing a minor or animal in distress.