BULLHEAD CITY — Jeanne Brooks, founder of Saving Animals in Need Together, would like to see a law established that further protects animals from serious and potentially deadly mistreatment in warm weather.
She spoke to the Bullhead City Council during public comment period last week and expanded on her short address this week. It was an emotional couple of minutes.
“We need to have laws put into effect and enforced,” Brooks said.
While there are statewide rules against leaving pets inside hot vehicles, there are other things some pet owners do in summer that constitute animal cruelty, she said.
For example, walking a dog on hot asphalt, rocks and cement can seriously burn their paws.
Brooks told the council members that she encountered a local dog owner recently walking a shih tsu on a very hot sidewalk. She talked to him about it. His response at the time seemed as if it didn’t matter.
“He said, ‘It’s cloudy,’ ” Brooks told the board.
But she saw the man carrying the little dog a couple of times after they had their discussion.
Also concerning is when pet owners put dogs and other animals in the beds of pick-up trucks when the temperature outside is warm. Even with plastic or rubber liners, it’s too hot for a pet to have direct contact with the truck bed, she explained.
Recently, she saw a couple put the dog in the truck bed even though it didn’t want to go there.
“People need to understand,” Brooks emphasized. “They don’t think about it.”
Tying up a dog outside in summer is dangerous. And cruel, she said.
Experts warn that dogs can become caught up in the rope or chain and get hurt and possibly die. They can suffer dehydration or a heat-related illness if their water is knocked over or if they can’t get to a shady spot to cool off. Many pet foods can spoil if left sitting outside in the heat for too long.
Leaving dogs and other pets in garages without air conditioning, an evaporative cooler or at least a strong fan also can cause them to suffer a heat-related illness.
Letting cats run loose outdoors for lengthy periods when it’s warm outside also can be dangerous.
Brooks asked city officials to consider making it unlawful to do such things to pets. She said she ultimately would like to see statewide laws regarding animal cruelty include these forms of owner neglect.
“We must do something to save their lives,” Brooks said. “SAINT is Saving Animals in Need Together — and we must protect them.”