This blog is usually political in nature, but this time I'm changing topics. Not only am I getting tired of the political scene, I'm also getting tired of seeing news stories about the abuse heaped on dogs by their reckless, careless, thoughtless and cruel owners. And, yes ... this is ABUSE. I'm tired of seeing stupid people drag their dogs along as they walk on cement sidewalks. I'm tired of hearing about deaths of dogs left in backyards with no shade or water - or in vehicles.
HIGH TEMPERATURES CAN INJURE AND KILL ANIMALS! How many times do we have to say it?
I volunteer at the North Mountain Visitor Center which is part of the Phoenix Mountain Preserves. People hike the trails every single day and every summer there are hikers who make the news when rescue teams have to bring them down off the mountains. SIX hikers have already died this summer because they were overcome by the heat. Heat can kill. And that applies to dogs, too.
With the high temps now, not only are people still hiking, they are bringing their dogs with them. STUPID! The visitor center produced a handout for people who come in (dogs on leashes are quite welcome in the center) ... in hopes of educating. Here are some numbers for you:
Hmmm .... could YOU walk in bare feet on a sidewalk that is 154 degrees?
And even if you don't live in Phoenix where the temperatures can be blistering, your dogs can still be overcome. High humidity makes it even more difficult for a dog to cool down through panting. Ninety degrees can quickly turn into a danger zone.
Be smart. And ... try to educate those who are clearly showing their stupidity. Am I harsh? Yes. And I don't have a problem with that. None. There are a lot of things I can't control, but maybe - just maybe - I can prevent some abuse down the road through education. It's worth a try.