Manager of Southern Pines talks heat protection for pets

HATTIESBURG,MS (WDAM) - The sun is beating down at Southern Pines Animal Shelter and the animals here are staying inside and in shaded areas.

"In the air conditioning is preferable. Inside is the best place to keep your animals in the summer heat," said Southern Pine's Animal Shelter Manager Lara Hudson.

These extreme temperatures means cutting back on outdoor time, but there are no cut backs for water pales says Hudson.

"Everybody has to have water. Everybody has to have shade. The kennels that don't have air conditioning over here to the left, we have big baby pools that we fill with water doing the summer so that they can relieve themselves when it gets hot. Here it about 100 degrees everyday," said Hudson.

Hudson and the staff are doing everything they can to keep our four legged friends cool, and she hopes pet owners are doing the same.

"People pull up with animals in their car. Don't leave the animal in the car, even if it is running with the windows cracked. It just gets too hot. The inside of a car can heat up to 120 degrees in about two minutes," said Hudson.

Outside pets need extra care.

"It is very important to remember that even if you have an animal tied in the shade, at a certain time of day, as the sun goes across the sky that particular area may not have shade at two three o'clock in the afternoon they need to have shade preferably trees. Even the inside of a dog house gets pretty hot if its left out in the sun. They need fresh clean water 24 hours a day," said Hudson.

There are key signs to tell whether you pet is suffering from heat exhaustion.

"Excessive panting. Bright red gums. Dry sticky gums. Dizziness. Any signs of stroke or if they seem like they cant' see, or can't stand. That is an emergency situation and you really need to get them cooled down very quickly," said Hudson.

Hudson say the message here is to make sure you do anything and everything to prevent a death.

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