Prince George’s, Calvert counties issue safety tips for pets during hot weather

Two Maryland counties are cautioning about the hot weather and its effect on pets and other animals. Here’s what pet owners and animal caretakers need to know.

Calvert County has issued an “animal safety alert” in anticipation of high temperatures Friday.

The Calvert County Department of Public Safety Division of Animal Control said pet owners and those who take care of animals need to provide weather protection during this alert, including shelter, water and access to shade.

In addition, dogs with short snouts (brachycephalic), such as boxers, Shih Tzus and pugs, and long hair winter breeds, such as huskies, malamutes and St. Bernards, should have outside time limited to less than half-hour intervals to prevent overheating, a county news release said.

Animals that are kept outdoors should be monitored at all times, and if they show signs of distress — vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, dizziness, disorientation or heavy panting — then they should be brought into a temperature-controlled environment.

Those found in violation of the requirements could face fines of up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail.

Call Calvert County’s Animal Control Division at 410-535-1600, ext. 2526 to report concerns. The office open Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Outside office hours, you can call 410-535-3491, which is the nonemergency line.

Prince George’s County is reminding residents about the animal control ordinance that states all domestic animals, except livestock, are prohibited from being kept outdoors when the heat index is 90 degrees or higher.

The county is asking those who see a pet in a hot car to do the following:

  • Write down the car information.
  • Ask nearby businesses to make an announcement to find the vehicle owner.
  • Call the police or animal control if the owner can’t be found. Wait for police or animal control to arrive.

You can also ask business to post signs, asking customers not to leave pets in their cars they are shopping or dining, Prince George’s County said in a news release. More tips at the Humane Society of the United States website.

If you see an animal experiencing neglect or cruelty, you can call Prince George’s County’s Animal Services Division at 301-780-7200.

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Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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