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Keep pets cool and safe during heat wave and July 4 fireworks


Paul Scarpelli, Animal Protection and Control
Phone: (360) 397-2375 ext. 4705

Vancouver, WA – Clark County and Humane Society for Southwest Washington urge pet owners to leave their animals at home during extreme heat.

Remember, dogs and cats are wearing fur coats and have no sweat glands to cool themselves as people do. Temperatures inside a parked car can easily reach more than 100 degrees, even on a relatively mild day and parked in the shade.

To keep your animals healthy in hot weather:

• Do not leave pets in a parked car, even with windows open or in the shade.
• Do not leave a pet without water, food or shelter.
• Do not allow a dog to travel in the bed of a pickup truck in the heat. The metal truck bed can become so hot it burns the pads of a dog’s paws.
• Do not walk or exercise pets in afternoon heat. The heat could cause premature exhaustion and hot pavement can burn their paws.

Signs an animal is suffering from heat stroke are excessive panting and salivation, dizziness and vomiting. Call your veterinarian. If you see an animal that is not properly cared for, call Clark County Animal Protection & Control at (360) 397-2488.

Also, pet owners are urged to safely secure their animals during fireworks season.

Licensing your pets anytime helps ensure you will be reunited with them if they become lost. But more dogs and cats end up in animal shelters just before and after Fourth of July celebrations than any other time of the year. In panic or confusion caused by exploding fireworks, they may try to escape enclosures, dig under fences, chew through leashes, and run from home. Nearly 80 percent of lost pets wearing collars with licenses tags are reunited with owners.

Pet license applications are available at the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St. For a list of other locations, please call (360) 397-2488 or visit

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