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Laws for pets in the heat are common sense

Wednesday - 7/18/2012, 10:53am  ET

WASHINGTON - Despite heat advisories and warnings, officials are still responding to reports of animals being left out in the blazing heat and in cars, where temperatures can top 120 degrees.

Washington Humane Society Officer Michael Triebwasser says that despite public warnings, he's still running to call after call regarding animals left in vehicles or places without shade or adequate water.

"I tell people that the law regarding what you have to provide for an animal, it's not a trick, it's really just common sense," says Triebwasser.

While most of the calls Triebwasser gets are about dogs trapped in cars, he gets all kinds. One example was a call about a horse tied up behind a hotel.

"(Animals like) the same things that we humans like," says Triebwasser. "We like food, we like water, we definitely like shelter."

The biggest part of Triebwasser's job is education, he says. Sometimes he'll ask owners to step outside to talk to him, so they can get a feel for the heat.

"(They're) starting to fan themselves, like 'Boy, it's really hot out here, you now?'"

District laws are clear according to Triebwasser. Animals left outside need access to shelter and water, and if an owner would rather be inside, the dog probably does as well.

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report. Follow Kate and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)