Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Humane Society Receiving Record Number of Calls

Posted on Tue, Aug 21, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Humans aren't the only ones suffering in these over-the-top temps. Paula Reese, spokesperson for the Memphis and Shelby Humane Society, says that the organization has already received more calls than it did last August about dogs without shade, shelter, or water.

“If no one is home, we leave a note that they're required by law to provide water and shelter,” says Reese. The cruelty investigator, Calvin Walker, will check on the animal and give it water. “We can't give them a lot at one time or it will make them sick, so we give them a little, let them drink that, then leave them a little more,” says Reese.

If the owner is home, Walker explains what he or she needs to do. One dog was so dehydrated that Walker stayed with the animal, cooling it down and talking to the owner. “A bowl was there but it was empty,” says Reese.

“We have to let the owner know what seems obvious to us — that animals get miserably hot and thirsty just like we do. We tell them to leave the water in a big bucket to drink and a kiddie pool so the animal can get in and cool down.” She advises that people should keep their animals indoors, but if that's not possible, the dog should have a house preferably under a big tree.

Reese adds that dogs get hot faster than we do — especially black dogs: “It's like if we went outside in this heat with gloves and a coat.”

Most people cooperate when the investigator tells them what's required. “Some people just don't know, so we educate them,” says Reese. If they can't afford a doghouse, she adds, “we can work with the owner to get them one.”

The Humane Society is also getting a record number of dogs “dumped” at their new facility on Farm Road. “We have all this new space,” says executive director Ginger Morgan, “but we're filled to capacity. We hope people will come and adopt.”

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