JustOneMorePet

Every Pet Deserves A Good Home…

Don’t think for a minute that dogs can survive in a hot car

Veterinarian Shawn Messonnier, with Rita, says that  "a matter of minutes, five or 10 minutes," is all it takes on a hot day for a dog to wind up organ-damaged or dead.

(Photo) Veterinarian Shawn Messonnier, with Rita, says that “a matter of minutes, five or 10 minutes,” is all it takes on a hot day for a dog to wind up organ-damaged or dead.

It’s 11 a.m., 75 degrees…

In the Safeway parking lot, two hairy dogs are panting and pacing in a car with windows cracked about 5 inches. They’re hot and unhappy, but not yet in distress, I think. I wait a couple of minutes, then call the humane society. I share the facts, including that one dog has just crammed itself under the steering wheel, evidently to get out of the blazing sunlight.

They believe the dogs will be OK until help can arrive — five minutes.

Animal-control guy rolls up in four, eyeballs the situation and decides to give the owner a few more minutes to emerge.

Owner blusters up just under the deadline, annoyed that people surround his car. Doors are flung open, water offered. Owner receives a stern lecture.

I hope it made an impact. Too many locked-in-cars dogs die horrible deaths every summer, their brains, their organs literally heated into mush.

I have to assume that most owners who take dogs in vehicles love those animals. And that until the awful moment of returning to a stifling car and discovering the tragic aftermath of a bad choice, they just didn’t fully understand (despite warnings from vets and humane organizations) how fast things go really bad.

So maybe this will help: a graphic description of exactly what occurs when a dog (and it’s almost always dogs, since few people take cats for rides) is closed in a hot car.

Plano, Texas, veterinarian Shawn Messonnier, who knows something about hideous heat and animals and who has written several books, including Unexpected Miracles: Hope and Holistic Healing for Pets, out next month, agreed to be brutally descriptive about the process and physiology of heat stroke.

First, he says, it’s important to understand that the temperature doesn’t have to be in the 90s for a car-bound animal to be in deep trouble. At much lower temperatures, particularly if the sky is cloudless, the humidity high or the car dark-colored, a vehicle becomes a sauna fast. And cracking windows a few inches accomplishes practically nothing (though many owners of now-dead pets thought it would).

In fact, researchers learned that when it’s a sunny 78 degrees, the temperature in a parked car with windows cracked rises at least 32 degrees in 30 minutes. So: 78 degrees to 110 in half an hour.

“A matter of minutes, five or 10 minutes” is all it takes on a hot day for a dog to wind up organ-damaged or dead, Messonnier says.

Here’s how it progresses: First, the dog pants hard, trying the only way it can to cool off. As the temperature rises and the dog realizes it’s in trouble, it becomes frantic, tries to get out, scratching at windows or digging at the seat or floor. It’s an awful moment, the dog’s moment of realization. “If you want to compare it to humans,” says Messonnier, “it would be this: The person is too hot, stifling, feeling trapped. But a person knows things can be done,” like smashing a window or blowing the horn for help. Dogs, of course, panic, since they can devise no strategies other than digging desperately. They often bloody themselves in this effort to survive. Some have heart attacks.

The panic doesn’t last long. Very quickly the dog goes prostrate, begins vomiting, having diarrhea and lapsing into unconsciousness. Organs are disintegrating. “All organs function properly within a certain temperature range, and when body temperature reaches a certain level, organ cells begin dying. There’s inflammation, white blood cells rush in … a cascade of things happens in minutes,” he says. Liver, brain, kidneys are dying.

“When you do an autopsy on a dog that died this way, the organs are soupy.”

If caught quickly enough, some dogs can be saved. It’s crucial to open car windows, turn on air conditioning and race to the nearest vet, dousing the dog in cool water if possible during the trip, putting something cool under each armpit and against the groin (“but don’t waste 20 minutes trying to gather up those last things,” Messonnier says, as it’s most important to get experts involved fast).

“If you’ve caught it early enough and you’re real lucky, there will be no permanent damage,” he says, though ascertaining that is a “waiting game” since some dogs that seem to have pulled through have liver or kidney damage that may not be obvious at first.

It’ll likely cost “several hundred dollars to several thousand dollars” to save a dog with heatstroke.

Not to mention the misery the animal has endured.

The reality is those “dashes” into the market while the dog waits in the car are rarely as quick as we expect. I know of an owner who ran into the bank, tripped while walking to the counter, knocked himself out, and by the time he regained sense (not long) and got someone to check on the dog in his car, it was too late. That’s the kind of thing that could happen, really, during any dash-in visit.

There’s also the person who left the car running with the air conditioner on to keep the dog cool. Car quit running. You can imagine the results.

And, by the way, snub-nosed dogs such as boxers and pugs have an even higher risk of overheating because they don’t cool efficiently.

I hate to be so grim.

But really, if it saves a dog …

Good Reminder!!  Thanks to Sharon L. Peters – Pet Talk, USA TODAY

Posted:  Just One More Pet

July 16, 2009 Posted by | animal abuse, Animal Rights And Awareness, animals, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pet Friendship and Love, Pets, Political Change, responsible pet ownership, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

285 Dogs Are Out and Never Looking Back

This is why we always encourage you guys to report, report, report animal cruelty! Thanks to the complaints of folks looking to purchase dogs, a puppy mill was busted today in White County, Tennessee, where the ASPCA seized 285 dogs this morning from miserable conditions.  From Their Press Release:

“The dogs are small breeds under 20 pounds and include Boston and Jack Russell terriers, Pomeranians, shih Tzus, Chihuahuas, poodles, miniature pinschers and schnauzers. According to Dr. Melinda Merck, the ASPCA’s Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics, the dogs are suffering from a general lack of husbandry, such as little to no food or water, lack of proper ventilation in enclosed areas, and feces encrusted pens. Conditions such as matting, sores, mange, poor teeth, abscesses, and a host of other medical conditions are prevalent.”

We’re thrilled that the dogs are now getting the TLC and medical care they deserved all along. Special shoutout to the White County Sheriff’s Department of Tennessee, who requested our assistance and gave us the authority to investigate. So that’s great for the dogs, but what about the puppy mill? The ASPCA is evaluating the dogs found at the site and collecting evidence for the prosecution of the criminal case. 

 

Puppy Mill

Puppy Mill
Puppy Mill
Puppy Mill
Puppy Mill
The ASPCA’s best and brightest are currently on the ground in White County, TN, managing operations of a puppy mill raid that began Wednesday morning, February 11. Our forensic cruelty investigation team, led by Dr. Melinda Merck, ASPCA Senior Director of Veterinary Forensics, is evaluating dogs and collecting evidence for the future criminal prosecution of the puppy mill’s owners. Members of the ASPCA Disaster Response team and several of our legislative professionals are also assisting at the site. More than 285 small-breed dogs—including Boston and Jack Russell terriers, Pomeranians, shih tzus, Chihuahuas, poodles, miniature pinschers and schnauzers—were recovered from multiple buildings on the raided property. According to Dr. Merck, the dogs are suffering from a general lack of basic care, such as little to no food or water, feces-encrusted pens and lack of proper ventilation in enclosed areas. Conditions such as matting, sores, mange, poor teeth and abscesses are widespread.  Dogs in critical condition were examined immediately on the scene and in the Mobile Animal CSI Unit, and those needing emergency care were transferred to local veterinarians who have volunteered their services.

Puppy Mill

Local officials became concerned about this particular puppy mill last September after a visitor to the property—someone who had intended to purchase a dog—alerted the White County Humane Society to the poor conditions of the animals. The White County Sheriff’s Department began a formal investigation, ultimately enlisting the ASPCA’s support for this week’s raid. Other parties assisting in the rescue include American Humane Association, Nashville Humane Association, several local veterinarians and PetSmart Charities, which provided the majority of sheltering supplies and an emergency relief vehicle.
Back in June, the ASPCA assisted in the raid of a puppy mill in Lyles, TN—the state’s largest raid to date. Thankfully, the Tennessee General Assembly is taking action to address the state’s puppy mill problem—last week, a consumer protection bill addressing large-scale commercial breeders was introduced in the Senate; introduction of a House companion bill is expected soon. How can you help to ensure a safe future for dogs like these? When you donate today, you will help us in all of our life-saving efforts, including ones like the puppy mill raid in Tennessee. To learn more about the White County raid, please visit our blog to see pictures of the puppies we rescued.   
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Fight Back Animal Cruelty
Before your report cruelty, be sure to gather as much information as you can to help the authorities investigate. If you have evidence—photos, videos, etc.—even better!

February 14, 2009 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Success Stories, Uncategorized, We Are All God's Creatures | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Woman Cited For Dragging Her Pit Bull

From wire service reports
Posted: 12/04/2008 03:14:28 PM PST

DOWNEY – A woman taking her pet pit bull to a Downey shelter today to be put to sleep was cited for animal cruelty when the dog jumped out of the bed of her pickup truck and was dragged the rest of the way, an animal control captain said.

The woman drove her truck into the parking lot of the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority’s shelter in the 9700 block of Seeaca Street in front of horrified bystanders, said Capt. Aaron Reyes, SEAACA’s director of operations.

The bloodied dog, named Prada, was immediately unleashed and taken into the facility’s veterinary division, where she is expected to recover, Reyes said.

The Norwalk woman told authorities she brought her 1-year-old pit bull to the shelter to be “put to sleep because it had a skin condition,” Reyes said.

“A female witness drove behind the (woman’s) truck and watched in horror as the dog screamed and flailed against the asphalt for several blocks,” Reyes said.

The woman was cited by SEAACA officers for felony animal cruelty and for misdemeanor “illegally transporting an animal in the back of a vehicle,” Reyes said.

She has not been formally charged by the District Attorney’s Office, but should be!!!

“Once again, we’d like to stress that it is illegal and unsafe to transport animals in the back of vehicles meant for cargo in the state of California,” Reyes said.

This women was taking her one year old dog (technically still a puppy) to be euthenized because the pup had developed a skin disease, that has turned out to be a curable condition and then illegally put it in the back of her truck and ended up dragging the dog behind her truck… animal torture and abuse on all counts.

What kind of a person has their dog put to sleep because it develops a skin condition… any kind of a skin condition?  What kind of a person has their dog put to sleep for a condition they haven’t even checked out?  What kind of a person drags their dog behind their car and doesn’t notice?

This woman should never be allowed to have an animal again!  And these kinds of behaviors need to be prosecuted.  Animal cruelty, like child abuse, will only stop when:  we all work together;  we pay attention; we report these aggregious behaviors; and we insist on prosecution.

Perhaps petcare classes, just like childcare classes, need to be offered to every new parent of any species?

December 5, 2008 Posted by | Animal Rights And Awareness, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets, Political Change, Stop Animal Cruelty, Stop Euthenization | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment