Humane Society responds to dozens of animal calls in Valley heat wave

PHOENIX - The Valley's extreme temperatures can be brutal, no matter if you walk on two legs or four.

The Arizona Humane Society is exceptionally busy as their field crews respond to hundreds of heat-related calls. 

"This week has been one of the busier weeks I think we've ever had, or at least have had this summer," said Andy Gallo, an Emergency Animal Medical Technician (EAMT). 

The Humane Society responds to calls for pets in trouble. Those calls include strays, as well as owners who have left their pets in tough conditions, like leaving them outside without food, water, or shelter. 

"We find that these animals, when we're coming up on them, even if they appear to be pretty healthy, you're finding elevated body temperatures, heavy panting, dehydration," Gallo said. 

According to the Arizona Humane Society, in June, EAMTs and animal cruelty investigators took part in roughly 292 heat-related investigations. 

RELATED: Dogs suffer when owners underestimate Arizona heat

In just the past two days, with extreme temperatures, they have taken part in roughly 21 heat-related investigations, which can include dogs that are tethered, left without water or shelter, or in a car. 

"When these dogs are left outside, tied without water, or kennels without water, they can go downhill fast," Gallo said. 

The City of Phoenix does have a tethering law that, among other things, prohibits owners from tethering dogs when temperatures exceed 100 degrees.

Gallo says if dogs are put in extremely bad conditions, they are often seized with the help of police.

"(It) really boils down to the dog owner themselves, the situation, how dangerous it is for the dog," Gallo said. 

On Wednesday, ABC15 rode along as Gallo responded to two calls about stray dogs out in the heat. 

The first was retrieved near 7th Street and Southern Avenue, found by neighbors seeking shade underneath a tree. They left water for the dog.

"If it weren't for the neighbors, he wouldn't have made it," Gallo said.

The second dog was found in the West Valley seeking shade underneath a parked car. Gallo says injuries indicate the dog was initially hit by another vehicle, before trying to find relief from the sun.

If you find a dog suffering from extreme temperatures, Gallo says it's important you don't douse them in cold water, which could put them into shock. He recommends using a damp towel, with room-temperature water, to slowly cool them down.

Gallo expects he and his colleagues will likely remain extremely busy for the foreseeable future.

"We're gonna be out there...from morning 'til night, until hopefully that temperature starts going down," he said. 

If you want to report a pet in trouble, you can call 602-997-7585 ext. 2073 or your local law enforcement agency.

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