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The original item was published from 5/3/2016 11:39:44 AM to 5/10/2016 12:14:21 PM.

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Posted on: May 3, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Fayetteville Animal Services Urges Caution with Pets in Vehicles This Summer

Pets in hot cars unlawful

For Immediate Release

May 3, 2016

Contact: Anthony Rankin
Fayetteville Animal Services Programs Manager
Community Resources Division

Fayetteville Animal Services Urges Caution with Pets in Vehicles This Summer

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — With above average temperatures being forecast for this summer by the National Weather Service, Fayetteville Animal Services wants to urge caution to pet owners. Fayetteville Animal Services programs manager Anthony Rankin stated, “Every year beginning in April and lasting until late September our Animal Control officers respond to numerous heat related welfare checks on animals.” Rankin continued, “A vast majority of these welfare checks are on dogs that have been left in vehicles parked in parking lots of businesses in Fayetteville.”

Fayetteville Animal Services officer Lawrence Kimble knows all too well the number of complaints received every year. “Last year from the first of April to the last day of September two Animal Services officers and I responded to 81 reports of dogs left in vehicles,” Kimble stated. He went on to say, “Unfortunately for most of the summer last year – we didn’t have a specific ordinance or law that said you couldn’t leave your dog in a dangerously hot car, but that changed last July with a new ordinance approved by City council.”

Kimble is referring to an added section of Fayetteville’s animal care ordinance that was passed unanimously by Fayetteville City Council in late spring of 2015 and went into effect in July of last year. Ordinance 92.02 Section G states that it is unlawful for someone to “confine an animal in an unattended, enclosed vehicle where the outside temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit or greater and the interior of the vehicle is not provided with conditioned air or adequate ventilation to maintain an internal temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or less.”

“Leaving an animal in a vehicle on a hot day can be extremely dangerous for that animal,” according to Dr. Valerie Henley, Fayetteville Animal Services veterinarian. She went on to say, “Temperatures inside a vehicle, even with the windows rolled down, on a 75 to 80 degree day can easily reach over 110 degrees within just a few minutes. Temperatures that high can cause issues such as heat stress or heat stroke in dogs, both of which would cause suffering and may even lead to the death of that animal.”

“We just want people to be cautious with their animals and leaving them in a vehicle with interior temperatures over 100 degrees is simply not safe. We also want to encourage people to call Fayetteville Animal Services at 479-444-3456 or police dispatch if they see an animal left in a hot vehicle,” said Anthony Rankin. Rankin further stated “Our officers consider these calls a high priority and do respond quickly to help ensure the wellbeing of any animal left in a vehicle. There are legal ramifications for taking matters into your own hands and breaking into someone else’s vehicle to remove a pet. We certainly understand the desire to help an animal in need, but we don’t want people putting themselves at risk to help that animal since we have a very quick response time. Due of the danger to the health of animals in this type of situation, Animal Services officers will have a no tolerance policy for violations of the new ordinance and people in violation will be issued citations.”


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