HOUSTON — Two dogs died from the heat Monday after being left outside with no access to water, food or shade, according to the Houston SPCA.
One of the incidents happened in northwest Houston and the other in southeast Houston.
The Houston SPCA said one of the dog's body temperatures registered over 104 degrees from being left in the blistering heat with temperatures nearing the triple digits.
Both of these incidents are being investigated by the Houston SPCA and the Harris County Constable Precinct 1 Office.
A new law to protect outdoor dogs in Texas went into effect in January.
Under the Safe Outdoor Dogs Act passed by the Texas legislature last fall, it is a criminal offense -- rather than a misdemeanor -- to unlawfully restrain dogs. That includes chaining them without shelter and water.
The law also defines what qualifies as an adequate shelter for a dog, which includes protection from extreme temperatures
How to keep pets safe from the heat
Houston's heat is no joke and we have to make sure we not only protect ourselves but also our four-legged family members.
Before you let your pets go outside, make sure you take some precautions because when the air is hot, the ground is even worse.
“We don’t think about it because the dogs just keep up with us because they love us so much," dog owner Trent Thomas said.
The Houston SPCA offers these tips to protect your animals:
- Bring your pets inside during extreme temperatures.
- Know where your pets are during the heat of the day. As the sun shifts, the shade may no longer be adequate.
- Check on them often. Water can evaporate when it’s hot outside, and pets can tip over water bowls, leaving them without proper hydration.
BARC has tips too.
“Walk in the grass, walking at later hours where it’s cooler outside, so the pavement is not as hot for them," BARC Public Information Officer Cory Stottlemyer said.
Signs of heatstroke in pets include:
- Heavy panting
- Uncoordinated movements, lethargic
“If the heat is going to be affecting you as a person, it’s going to be affecting your animals as well," Stottlemyer said.
If you see an animal in distress, please call the Houston SPCA at 713-869-7722 immediately.