A report from Albuquerque, New Mexico came out yesterday that an animal welfare officer left two dogs in a hot animal welfare truck, KOB.com reports. Both dogs have died.
The incident is under investigation by the Albuquerque Police Department through the auspices of the Mayor’s office. Desiree Cawley, of Albuquerque Animal Care Office, told me the Mayor’s office is handling the investigation since the Animal Care office cannot investigate itself. Chris Ramierez, Director of Communication for Mayor Berry, has not yet returned my call.
Cawley told me the records show there were four phone calls about two stray dogs from an Albuquerque neighborhood. An animal welfare officer collected the pit bull mix and large black and brown shepherd cross and placed them in the animal welfare truck.
No details are known at this time regarding how long the dogs were in the truck, only that there was no air conditioning. The officer is still on duty but not allowed to handle animals until the investigation is completed. Albert Marquez from Albuquerque Animal Care told me the officer in question “is devastated” about the deaths. Marquez also asks people not rush to judgment until all the facts are discovered.
Sad to say, many animals die each year when people leave them in a vehicle in the summer heat. Let this be a reminder never to leave your pet in a vehicle for any length of time, even with open windows. The temperature in a typical car can climb to 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. Pets suffer heatstroke, just like humans and will quickly succumb to it if left outside in a vehicle or even in your yard without proper shade and water.
According to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) the signs of heatstroke in pets are:
- Heavy panting
- Glazed eyes
- Rapid heartbeat
- Excessive thirst
- Lack of coordination
- Profuse salivation
- A deep red or purple tongue
We all know there are some pretty irresponsible pet owners out there. And every year — despite the warnings — you can pass through any parking lot and find dogs and cats locked in a car or truck with only a small part of a window left open for the pet.
It seems the question in this case is: should animal welfare officers be held to a higher standard in this type of case?
I will update readers as information is released.
Photo from Flickr: MC Morgan