HOUSTON (June 15, 2021) – The Houston SPCA responded to two separate cases of dogs who suffered and died from heat distress late yesterday after they were left outside in the sweltering heat with no access to water, food or shelter. The Houston SPCA anticipates more of these types of calls, so the rescue and protection organization is putting out an urgent reminder to pet owners:
- Bring your pets inside during extreme temperatures. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for them.
- 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.
1:45 p.m. When a Houston SPCA animal cruelty investigator and Harris County Precinct 1 Constable arrived on the scene in Southeast Houston, a Shiba Inu was found deceased inside a wire kennel in the full sun with two empty water bowls and no access to water, food or shelter. Officials say the heat gun registered the Shiba Inu’s body temperature at 139 degrees at the scene. A Houston SPCA veterinarian’s official cause of death is heat distress.
6 p.m. When a Houston SPCA animal cruelty investigator and Harris County Precinct 1 Constable arrived on the scene in Baytown, Texas, an 8 month old Husky was found lying on the ground seizing and tethered to a fence with a short chain. There was no water, food or shelter within the dog’s reach. Officials report that a heat gun registered the Husky’s temperature at 132 degrees. The Husky died within a few minutes of officials arriving to the scene. A Houston SPCA veterinarian’s official cause of death is heat distress.
“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 shelter to help regulate their body temperature,” Westbrook added.
To report animal cruelty or report an animal in distress, please call 713-869-SPCA (7722).