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Animal Shelter Receiving Multiple Distress Calls

KSAL StaffJune 23, 2016

The recent extreme heat has been keeping officers busy in Salina. Officers from the Salina Animal Shelter have been responding to numerous calls of animals in distress.

Vanessa Cowie, Animal Services Manager at the Salina Animal Shelter, tells KSAL News that her agency has been getting 5 to 10 calls a day this week from people concerned about animals in the heat. She says that animals have been left in cars, as well as outside in the heat with no shade or water.

“It’s absolutely an educational problem that were are having, it seem so obvious that pets need to be taken care of in the heat,” she says. Yet the shelter is getting multiple calls daily about animals that are not being taken care of.

Cowie says that it’s never a good idea to leave an animal unattended in a car, and especially when it’s hot.  On a comfortable 78-degree day, temperatures inside a vehicle can climb from 100 to 120-degrees in just a matter of minutes. On days that are already hot, temperatures quickly soar to deadly levels.

Cowie cited a case from Wednesday, in which she was called to a south Salina restaurant because a dog was left in a car while its owner went inside to enjoy a meal. The temperature at the time was 102 degrees outside, and even though the windows were left most of the way down in the car, it was still hotter inside the car than outside. It was 110 degrees inside the car.  The dog had been in the car for a half hour when Cowie arrived. The owner told Cowie that she knew it was wrong to leave the dog in the car, but said that she did it anyway. “It’s an outside dog,” the owner said. Cowie said that she explained to the owner that leaving the dog in the car was the same as leaving it in an oven.

Cowie described some of the things they have responded to as “horrific.”

One of the worst things to do is leave a dog tethered, unattended in a yard. They become tangled, and ultimately end up with no shade or water.

“Dogs don’t have sweat glands in their skin like people do, they sweat through the pads on their paws,” Cowie said.

“A dog suffering from a heatstroke will show symptoms like heavy panting and have a very dark-red tongue. In some cases they may become very lethargic and lay on the floor.”

Cowie says that quick action may save an animals life when it appears they are being neglected or abused. Whether it’s in a vehicle, or in a yard, if it looks like an animal is in danger it’s better to make a phone call to her agency than it is to look the other way and assume that everything is okay, or that someone else will call. “Please don’t wait, call us,” she said.

Learn more about the Salina Animal Shelter at or by calling 785-826-6535.



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