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Houston SPCA Investigates 2 Deaths from Heat Distress

2 dogs die from heat distress in Houston area

(June 15, 2022)

The Houston SPCA and Harris County Constable Precinct 1 are investigating two separate cases of animal cruelty after two dogs died from heat distress late Tuesday evening in Northwest Houston and Southeast Houston after they were both left outside in the sweltering heat with no access to water, food, or shade.

One of the dog’s body temperatures registered over 104 degrees at the scene. Houston SPCA has answered 24 heat-related calls and investigated three deaths due to heat distress in just the last 7 days alone. Unfortunately, many more of these types of calls are expected, so the rescue and protection organization is putting out an urgent reminder to pet owners:

  • Bring your pets inside during extreme temperatures when possible.
  • Know where your pets are during the heat of the day. As the sun shifts, the shade may no longer be adequate.
  • Check on them often. Water can evaporate when it’s hot outside, and pets can tip over water bowls, leaving them without proper hydration.
  • If you see an animal in distress, please call the Houston SPCA at 713-869-7722 immediately.

CLICK HERE to file a cruelty report online.

Dr. Roberta Westbrook, Chief Veterinarian at the Houston SPCA, goes into detail about how to keep your pets safe when temperatures skyrocket and what to do if they start to overheat.

Signs of Heat Distress in Pets

  • Heavy panting
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Uncoordinated movements, lethargy

CLICK HERE for more information about heat distress and how to prevent and treat it

Houston SPCA Chief Veterinarian Dr. Roberta Westbrook recommends removing the pet out of the heat first before offering cool, not cold water; wiping them down with a damp towel and contacting your veterinarian immediately.

“Leaving your pet outside can have devastating consequences as we have seen with these horrific cases,” said Dr. Roberta Westbrook, Chief Veterinarian at the Houston SPCA. “If you plan on leaving your home, please bring your pet inside to ensure their safety or at least make arrangements to make sure they will have adequate food, water, and shade to help regulate their body temperature,” Westbrook added.

To report animal cruelty or an animal in distress, please call 713-869-SPCA (7722).

Keep up with the latest Houston SPCA news on Tracks & Tails.

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