This summer’s extreme heat can be as dangerous for pets as it is for people.
The long stack of triple-digit temperature days caused problems to surface at the Kansas City Animal Shelter, including a 26 percent increase in dogs picked up, a lot because of animal cruelty, and a 72 percent increase in cats brought in.
Dogs have been found chained up or in backyards with no water, shelter, shade or food.
Because of the mild winter preceding the heat, the breeding cat cycle accelerated and now boxes of kittens are arriving, said Tori Fugate, donor engagement and community events coordinator with Kansas City Pet Project at the shelter.
The facility has run adoption specials all summer for pets and worked with animal rescue groups to reduce euthanizations.
But space and other shelter resources have been overwhelmed.
Animal experts warn that owners should avoid walking dogs too much in high heat. Their feet can burn on sun-scorched pavement.
If indoor air conditioning feels good to people it’s also best for pets. But if dogs have to stay outdoors, make sure they have plenty of clean water, food, shade and shelter.
Overland Park animal control officer Cody Bennett said cats are more resourceful than dogs. They will find cooler spots.
“Dogs usually don’t have that capability,” she said.
Birds also get distressed in the heat. Bird baths or large pans with clean water help them make it through unbearable days.