Tuesday morning, August 4, at 11 a.m. Sulphur Springs Animal Shelter officers and local law enforcement officers responded to a call about a dog left locked in a vehicle in the Walmart parking. It took nearly two hours for responders to get the dog out of the car.
“Ironically, the dog had actually broken its chain at home and the owners were afraid of the dog getting loose, so they took the dog with them to Walmart and locked it in the car,” Animal Control Officer Annie DeWolfe said. “Unfortunately that was not the best solution for that situation. The 9-1-1 call was made by a bystander who was parked close by. He called the Police Department and they got a hold of us, so we came out to check on the dog.”
When Animal Control arrived on scene, the dog, a Lab mix breed, which is noted for its large amount of fur, was not yet in serious condition. However, as time went by, the dog’s condition began to worsen. Normally, pulling dogs from locked vehicles only takes about ten minutes. The cause of the prolonged time in extracting the dog in this situation came from the difficulty in contacting the owners of the animal.
“We ended up having to call an officer out to assist us,” Officer DeWolfe said. “The owners of the dog were having difficulty hearing the overhead announcement in the store. They told us they could only understand bits and pieces of it, so they disregarded it. Normally, when we have a situation like this [at Walmart] we will call people over the speaker system and let them know that they are needed up front. Sometimes it goes well, and sometimes it doesn’t.”
Once the dog was removed from the vehicle, it was taken to Bright Star Veterinarian Clinic to have its temperature taken. The animal was wrapped in ice and wet towels to lower its body temperature. The dog also received fluids to help with dehydration. The police officer who arrived on scene to assist Animal Shelter officers reminded the owners of the dog to not leave the animal in the car during the hot summer month of August.
“Well, he’s a fellow pet lover, so he let them know that you are not allowed to leave your dog in the car, especially with the heat like it has been,” Officer DeWolfe said.
In response to the incident, Animal Shelter officers have asked people to remember the importance of not leaving your animals in locked vehicles during high temperatures. Incidents like todays have happened previously throughout the summer.
“It doesn’t take any time at all for a dog to suffer heat stroke in a car,” Officer DeWolfe said. “It’s just like a little child. You wouldn’t leave your child in a car, don’t leave your dog in the car. It’s wearing a fur coat on top of that heat. It’s going to overheat in no time. Besides, animals can’t sweat, they have to pant. They can sweat a little bit through their paws, but paws versus your entire body make a huge difference.”
KSSTRadio.com publishes Sulphur Springs Police Department reports and news. The Police Department is located at 125 Davis St., Sulphur Springs, Texas. Non-emergency calls can be made to (903) 885-7602.
If you have an emergency dial 9-1-1.
The Sulphur Springs Police Department continues to serve its citizens with pride in its overall mission and will strive to provide the best possible police force in the 21st century.