County animal control officials say they’ve brought in 63 abandoned animals to Oktibbeha County Humane Society since May 1 and have seen an increased number of dogs with heat-related complications this year.
Animal control officer Sarah Hankins said she’s seen an increased amount of cases of dogs with muzzles suffering from heat-related illnesses this year, including two incidents of heat stroke.
“Short-muzzled dogs cannot handle the heat as well as long-muzzled dogs. They cannot be out in the heat for more than 30 minutes to an hour,” she said. “We’ve had issues with people putting water out there and thinking it’s going to last all day and then the water gets so hot that the dog won’t drink it. Then it gets dehydrated and has a heat stroke. When it’s hot, owners don’t need to leave their animals outside for that long.”
Hankins said pit bulls in particular have been the most neglected dogs in the city and county.
“We’re seeing more than we usually do. There are a lot of them out there,” she said.
She said none of the cats animal control has brought to OCHS since May 1 have been reclaimed.
“The main problems we’ve been seeing have been linked to weather and spaying and neutering,” Hankins said.
She said despite the relatively low amount of animals being reclaimed or adopted, she has seen an overall decrease in the amount of strays and abandoned domesticated animals that have been picked up.
“We’re seeing them a lot less than we usually do,” she said, “but we don’t want to see any. We just want to emphasize that pet owners spay and neuter their pets.”