Experts remind residents to keep pets safe as temperatures rise

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Authorities are reminding residents to keep their pets safe as temperatures continue to rise.

"Regardless if it's 10 degrees below zero or 110 degrees heat index, your pet must always have access to proper shelter," Director of Memphis Animal Services, Alex Pugh, said.

Pugh says that means, under the law, there must be a roof, three sides, a floor and a break from wind or weather conditions. He also said, when it's this hot, pets must have access to shade.

"Your pet has to have access to fresh drinking water at all times when it's this hot," Pugh said. "When the temperatures start to climb to these points, our window of getting people to come into compliance shrinks greatly."

Even a few hours without these things could be a death sentence.

"If you see a situation like this, do not steal the dog, do not remove the dog forcibly," Pugh said. Instead, she says to call Memphis Animal Services, but if they're not open you can also call the police.

The same goes for a pet that's left in a vehicle. If a person believes your pet is in danger, they can break a window and get in your car if they believe the pet is in distress.

If your pet is not protected in the heat, you could face cruelty or neglect. If the police get involved they could issue state level charges.

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