MOUNT VERNON — Wednesday, two instances of dogs left in cars at Walmart were reported to the Knox County Dog Warden’s office at the Animal Shelter. Warden Jim St. Clair said that a total of five or six cases of dogs left in cars have been reported in the last two weeks.
St. Clair stated that usually the dogs’ owners have “good intentions.”
“They think they’re taking their dog for a ride on an outing in a nice air-conditioned car, but they stop at the store and think they’re going in for only 10 minutes. Inside they get to talking to a friend they haven’t seen in a couple of years,” he explained.
“The next thing you know, your dog’s paying for it,” said St. Clair.
Dogs can quickly develop heat stroke or dehydration. Their average body temperature is 101 degrees, so their body temperature is already higher than a human’s.
“If it’s 85 degrees outside, it’s about 20 degrees hotter on the inside, even if the window’s cracked,” St. Clair stated.
Symptoms of heat stroke include a rapid heartbeat, high fever or vomiting. They also may seem dazed or anxious and ignore commands. If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms, it should see a veterinarian immediately.
Citations can be issued for animal cruelty, St. Clair said, although no citations were issued Wednesday.
According to St. Clair, the best thing to do for a pet is leave them at home in the shade or air conditioning with plenty of cool water.
If a dog is observed left in a vehicle the best course of action is to call the Knox County Animal Shelter at 740-393-6713 or 740-393-3714. Calls may also be placed to the Mount Vernon Police Department, 740-397-2222, or the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, 740-397-3333.