OPD, Humane Society of Odessa talk car danger for pets amid extreme heat

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ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – The dog days of Summer are upon us.

As the sun beats down across the Permian Basin, there’s really only one thing that can be said about the heat: stay out of it.

“It’s too hot most of the time. We have to be inside, instead of doing outdoor activities,” said Marlenne Guebara.

For Marlenne, she knows the danger of heat isn’t just for people, but for pets. It’s especially concerning, if they get locked inside of a car.

“They’ll die because of the heat. Then, there’s no air or anything for them to drink,” Guebara said.

“Animals die every year from heat exhaustion, every year,” said Christyna Taylor of Humane Society of Odessa.

Christyna says dogs can overheat just as easily as people, especially for smaller breeds and dogs with a lot of fur, like huskies.

“The windows are up… up or down, it doesn’t matter. It’s hot outside. It’s hot,” Taylor said.

Odessa Police have launched “Operation Caring.” It’s very much a public service announcement to remind pet owners that dogs can die in a car, and that those deaths are avoidable.

“Even though it feels a little hot right now, it’s much worse inside of a vehicle,” said Cpl. Steve LeSueur of Odessa Police Department.

OPD arrested Christopher Penn on Sunday for leaving his dog inside of his car.

According to a probable cause affidavit, Penn said he left his dog inside of his car for five hours without water or food. The windows were rolled up and it was ninety degrees outside. The dog died.

Odessa Police say they respond to these welfare checks all the time.

“The main thing is if you’re at a business or anywhere, and you observe a pet inside of a hot vehicle, call us right away,” Cpl. LeSueur said.

The temperature inside of a car rises fast. If it were 90 degrees outside, the temperature can rise to 124 degrees in just 30 minutes.

“It’s not just animals, it’s kids too,” Cpl. LeSueur said. “We receive calls all the time of kids being left in unattended vehicles.”

That can lead to death and child endangerment charges.

The heat can take it’s hold outside of a car, too.

“If people think it’s cooler in the shade, you go sit outside under a tree for 15 minutes in this heat,” Taylor said.

The best advice for pet owners: bring your pets inside. If that’s not possible, have a kiddie pool, and a plentiful source of water nearby.

The Humane Society of Odessa is also accepting donations, according to Taylor. People can donate kiddie pools, towels, and cleaning supplies.

The Humane Society of Odessa is located at 7012 W Mockingbird Ln, Odessa, TX 79763.

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