The summer heat is coming, so it is crucial to keep our pets safe. High temperatures and humidity can cause animals to overheat, which can lead to serious health complications.

According to Dr. Jason Banning, Medical Director at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County (ARL), it is essential to ensure pets have fresh water and shady spaces to remain hydrated and escape direct sunlight.

On the other hand, temperatures in cars during the summer can reach over 120 degrees, even with the windows partially opened. For this reason, a pet should never be left unattended in a vehicle.

Particularly animals with flat faces or obese elderly dogs and cats, and dogs with pre-existing heart or lung conditions are more susceptible to overheating.

“Some signs to look for are excessive panting, difficulty breathing, drooling, mild weakness, and hazy stuporous mental state. As the signs worsen and your pet continues to overheat it can lead to more serious signs such as vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and seizures. If you notice any of these signs, you should call your veterinarian immediately for guidance,” said Dr. Banning.

Code Red for the City of Reading

When the National Weather Service predicts a heat index of 95 degrees or more, the Department of Animal Protection at the Animal Rescue League of Berks County will issue a CODE RED declaration for the City of Reading. This declaration is issued at least 8 hours in advance on the ARL’s social media channels and distributed to local news outlets.

“During the code, dogs may not be left outside unattended, except for brief walks and periods of exercise. Any dogs left unattended will be impounded and their owners fined $350 to $1,000, plus shelter fees and court costs,” said Savannah Baller, Animal Protection Officer at ARL.

Any person witnessing an unsupervised dog left outside in the elements within the City of Reading should call the Animal Rescue League of Berks County at 610-587-3659.

About The Animal Rescue League of Berks County 

The Animal Rescue League of Berks County is a charitable 501c3 organization caring for nearly 4,500 animals each year to help them find second chances in a new home or to help reunite them with their grateful owners. For more than 65 years, ARL has worked tirelessly to care for the sick, treat the injured, comfort the unwanted, and protect the abused. Whether helping people in need to keep their pets through surrender prevention programs, offering low-cost veterinary services and clinics, as well as outreach and education events throughout the county, ARL’s work goes far beyond the walls of the shelter.

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