Don’t leave your dog inside a hot car
Kelsey Harty with Animal Services and Enforcement says temperatures inside a car during the summertime can increase to dangerous temperatures in as little as 15 minutes. “We prefer that you don’t take the animal out and leave the animal in the vehicle if you don’t have t0o. Rapid City and Pennington County have an ordinance in place that states that animals cannot be left in a vehicle in a manner that leaves them in direct harm, so if you don’t have to take them with you, don’t.”
But in case you find a dog in distress locked inside a vehicle, what should you do? “The best thing to do is to contact Animal Services and Enforcement dispatch so you can get an officer out immediately. You can also contact the Rapid City non-emergency dispatch. They will then call our department and send an officer out, as long as it’s within the business hours. If it’s after business hours, they may send a Rapid City police officer or they may contact our on-call officer, but we will get there promptly. It is a priority call,” said Officer Harty.
Do not take matters into your own hand. If you damage a vehicle to get the animal out, you could face legal ramifications. So it’s best to just leave the rescuing up to the professionals. If you leave your dog in the backyard while you’re out, keep some things in mind.
“We always suggest that they have plenty of water that is palatable, that’s clean. We also recommend that they have shade. Dog houses are okay but those dog houses are meant to keep the heat in during the winter so they can stay warm. So they’re not the best place for the dog to go in the summertime, but shade is definitely a huge thing. My dogs have a dog pool that they can get into that they absolutely enjoy, so just plenty of water and somewhere that they can get out of the direct sun and rest,” said Officer Harty.