The bill will bring legal protection and the ability to fine owners, but is also hoped to raise awareness amongst dog owners. Many still believe that dogs can handle heat and cold better than humans, but the opposite is true.
If the bill passes, it will be illegal to leave a pet outside in temperatures below 32 F or above 85 F - or in sleet, snow and/or wind that can threaten the health and safety of an animal. The bill excludes taking an animal outside for brief walks and exercise, but includes dogs left in doghouses.
Dogs can't sweat like humans do; they can just pant to try to cool off. They are also so eager to please their owners that they won't stop playing or show that something is wrong until it's too late.
The pets most susceptible to heatstroke include:
- Short snout dog breeds, such as Pugs and Bulldogs
- Elderly and ill pets
- Pets with heart conditions
- Cats with shortened faces, such as the Persian
- Dogs who exercise excessively in hot weather
- Dogs who snore or have airway problems
- Pets who are overweight
- Pets who have recently been relocated to a hotter climate
- A pet that has had heatstroke before can be at higher risk of getting it again
~ Maria Sadowski ~