Keeping dogs safe in Summer

HOUGHTON – With high temperatures approaching, the Copper Country Humane Society is asking dog owners who bring their pets on the road with them to keep them safe.

The CCHS has printed up posters warning people of the effects of keeping dogs in hot cars. Volunteers will be distributing them to local businesses.

The initial idea came from Bruce Granat of Lake Linden. He said two to three times a year, he’s noticed dogs in cars with the windows rolled up in parking lots of local businesses.

“I’ve been cursed at, argued with,” he said. “I’ve had to call store managers, I’ve had to call owners themselves.”

A car’s internal temperature can rise to 40 degrees higher than the outside temperature in an hour even in mild weather. Dogs, which have no sweat glands, are especially vulnerable to these shifts. High temperatures can lead to irreversible brain damage or death in 15 minutes.

The Copper Country Humane Society website, cchumanesociety.com, also includes tips for ways people can avoid leaving their pets alone in cars, such as using drive throughs and shopping in pet-welcome stores. It also includes procedures for alleviating symptoms of heatstroke, such as wetting the dog with cool water, moving it to a shady place and fanning it.

“Knowing where you can find that information quickly can be the difference between life and death,” said CCHS treasurer Teresa Woods. “We hope nobody ever gets to that point, but if they do, we want to make sure that information is readily available.”

Woods said the CCHS also urges people not to drive with dogs unsecured in the back of a truck, which can lead to severe injury if the driver has to stop abruptly.

Instead, she said, dogs should be kept in a travel crate. For people without one, the CCHS even has extras to lend out, she said.

Woods said most dog owners who bring their pets with them have the very best of intentions.

“If you’re willing to put your animal in your vehicle, it means you don’t mind dog hair and don’t mind mud,” she said. “That makes it more tragic.”

Businesses interested in having a poster can contact the CCHS at 487-9560.