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Huntsville Animal Services urges residents to keep pets safe in summer heat

Published on June 26, 2024

With temperatures reaching the upper 90s and heat indices over 100 degrees this week, Huntsville Animal Services wants to remind residents to take extra precautions to keep their pets safe and comfortable.

Pets are at significant risk of heat-related illnesses, which can be life-threatening if not addressed promptly.

Below are a few tips to keep your pets safe:

  • Ensure your pets have access to fresh, clean water.
  • Avoid exercising your pets during the peak heat of the day. Long walks on hot concrete or pavement can result in injuries to paws.
  • Make sure your pets have a shaded area to rest when outside.
  • Never leave pets in parked cars.
  • Watch for signs of heat stress, including excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting and collapse.
  • Groom your pet appropriately to prevent overheating.

“Leaving pets in a parked vehicle is not only dangerous for an animal, but it could also result in a charge of animal cruelty,” Huntsville Animal Services Interim Director Virgie Graham said. “On a 90-degree day, the interior of a car can reach up to 160 degrees in less than 30 minutes, which can cause severe damage to your pet’s organs and be fatal. Remember, if it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your pets.”

During the summer heat, animals in the shelter experience added stress because they cannot exercise outside as often. This makes pet adoptions more crucial than ever.

Huntsville Animal Services has waived adoption fees for most adult pets through the end of June. Before leaving the shelter, each pet is spayed or neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, and treated with a three-month application of flea and tick preventative.

Animal Services is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The shelter will be closed on Thursday, July 4, for Independence Day.

Call 256-883-3782, visit HuntsvilleAL.gov/Animal or visit them on Facebook to learn more.