The City of Fort Wayne, Animal Care & Control Department has issued a hot weather alert for animal caretakers.  Animals exposed to high temperatures, high humidity, and inadequate ventilation can become ill or irritable, and may pose a danger to themselves and to people.  The department urges caretakers to pay extra attention to provisions for their animals during this time.

When possible, bring pets into an air-conditioned area of your home; fans are also helpful where air-conditioning is unavailable.

For animals outside, provide a shady, sheltered place to rest and quantities of fresh water in containers that cannot be tipped and spilled.

Change drinking water often. Dirty water breeds bacteria and attracts flies and mosquitoes.  The larvae from mosquitoes can cause heartworm in dogs and cats.

Take measures to prevent fly bites, fleas, and ticks.

Do not leave any animal in a parked car, even with the windows open.

Schedule walks with your dog during the early morning or late evening, taking special care with older dogs, young puppies, and dogs with short noses.

Parents are urged not to allow children to exercise a dog while the child is riding a bicycle or skating. The dog may get over heated and children don't always know when to stop.

Supervise pets. Do not leave them alone in situations where they may come in contact with wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, and coyotes.   

Whenever taking your pet on an outing, carry plenty of cool water for the pet to drink and have water that can be used to wet down your dog's body. 

If an animal is panting excessively, or vomiting, or having difficulty walking in extreme heat, it may be suffering from heat stroke.  If you suspect an animal is in trouble, move the animal to a cool place out of the direct sun and use cool water to lower its body temperature.  Contact a veterinarian right away.

Report signs of animal neglect to Animal Care & Control immediately by calling 427-1244. Any animal that is found by the shelter to be left in conditions that pose an immediate health hazard to the animal will be taken directly to Animal Care & Control for its safety. An Animal Control Officer will leave a written notice for the owner to claim their pet from the shelter.