By Allan Jamail
Jacinto City, TX. – July, 20, 2020 – During the record breaking heat waves Jacinto City’s Garza family regularly gives their two pet dogs a cooling down. Their dogs get to enjoy the inside air-conditioning when needed.
Galena Park Police Chief Rodney Chersky said, “My officers take very serious the treatment and care pets in the city is getting. While on routine patrol the officers look for outdoor pets appearing to be in distress because of the heat. We’ll immediately call for one of the city’s two humane officers to investigate any questionable pet being neglected. If a citizen suspects animal mistreatment, he urges them to call the police so we can investigate it.”
“People without thinking will get a long haired dog and put them outside and this can be tortuous for the dog. If a person would put on a fur coat and wear it outside for just a couple hours during the summer, they’d quickly see how hot it is for a long haired dog, it’s even hard on a short haired dog outside during the summer,” Chersky said.
“Pet owners should check on their outdoor pets several times a day and give them lots of fresh cool water every few hours. If they cannot bring their pet indoors during the summer then they must provide lots of shade for them. Some people will put water in a small water bowl before leaving for work and expect that to be enough water for 8 to 10 hours while they’re gone, that’s cruel,” the chief said.
Dogs kept outdoors are the most common pets to be mistreated, 70 percent of animal cruelty cases is dogs. With daytime temperatures in the 90’s and 100’s it doesn’t take long before a pet can have a heat stroke.
Warning signs of a heat stroke in a dog can be recognized by the early warning sign of their mouth becoming partially open and panting or breathing with short quick breaths like it’s out of breath. If their mouth becomes fully open with rapid pants it means the dog is on the verge of a heat stroke. It must immediately be cooled off by putting it in front of a fan or into airconditioning and given fresh cool water. If the symptoms persist quickly get it to a veterinarian.
Dogs sweat and cool-off by drooling (dripping) from the mouth, small amounts of dripping from the mouth is normal but a constant large amount of drooling (sweating) is a sign of overheating and the dog cannot cool itself off without help; it will need lots of water to prevent dehydration (inadequate body fluids) and a heat stroke.
Abandoning an animal unreasonably and or leaving it in a hot vehicle, transporting or confining it in a cruel manner, permitting unjustified or unwarranted pain or suffering or failing to provide fresh cool water, food and shelter for a animal to maintain a state of good health, are crimes.
Texas law provides filing animal cruelty charges either as a felony or misdemeanor, the severity of cruelty will determine which of the two types of charges will be filed against the pet owner or keeper of the pet. If convicted of felony animal cruelty punishment can be up to two years in jail and or a $10,000 fine. Also any animals in your direct care may be removed by a local humane society or law enforcement. You may be prohibited from owning animals in the future. Persons convicted under the age of 18 are also required to undergo counseling.
Phone numbers for reporting animal cruelty: Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 713-869-7722 (HSPCA), they also provide a 7/24 animal ambulance for injured animals at 713-880-HELP (4357) and Harris County Animal Cruelty Task Force 832- 927-7297 (PAWS).
Texas criminal laws can be enforced by any law enforcement agency including animal cruelty laws. Phone numbers to keep in your cell phone for reporting any crime: Houston Police – 713-884-3131, Harris County Sheriff Office 713-221-6000, Jacinto City Police – 713-672-2455, Galena Park Police – 713- 675-3471, Constable Pct. 2 – 713-477-4070, Constable Pct. 3 – 713-274-2500.