Calvert Public Safety Issues Animal Safety Alert for July 8-11, 2024 Due to Heat

July 8, 2024

Due to forecasted high temperatures for Monday, July 8, through Thursday, July 11, animal owners or custodians are required to provide appropriate protection from the weather including providing adequate shelter, water, space and access to shade.

Pay special attention to animals that are most prone to heat stroke:

  • Brachycephalic Breeds: Dogs and cats with short noses, such as bulldogs, pugs, boxers, Persians and Shih Tzus, have compromised airways that make it difficult for them to cool themselves through panting.
  • Older Animals: Senior pets often have health conditions that make them less able to regulate their body temperature, increasing their risk of heat stroke.
  • Young Animals: Puppies and kittens are less capable of handling extreme temperatures due to their developing bodies.
  • Animals with Preexisting Health Conditions: Pets with respiratory, cardiovascular or other health issues are at higher risk of heat stroke due to their compromised health.
  • Thick-Coated Breeds: Animals with dense fur, such as huskies, malamutes and long-haired cats, may struggle to stay cool in hot weather.
  • Outdoor Animals: Animals kept outdoors should be monitored at all times and brought into a temperature-controlled environment if they begin to show signs of distress such as vomiting, diarrhea, excessive drooling, dizziness, disorientation, seizure or heavy panting.

Take preventative measures to protect animals during hot weather:

  • Provide ample water and shade to help them stay cool.
  • Avoid hot surfaces such as pavement and asphalt to prevent burns and overheating.
  • Adjust activity levels and exercise animals during cooler parts of the day, such as early morning or late evening, and keep sessions short.
  • Use cooling aids like cooling mats, fans, or damp towels for animals to lie on, and consider using pet-safe cooling vests.
  • Never leave pets in parked cars, which can quickly reach lethal temperatures, even with the windows slightly open.
  • Monitor at-risk pets closely and keep them indoors as much as possible during excessive heat.
  • Be vigilant for symptoms of heat stroke, including excessive panting, drooling and lethargy.

If you suspect an animal is suffering from heat stroke, immediately:

  • Move the animal to a cooler area.
  • Offer small amounts of cool (not cold) water.
  • Wet the animal with cool water and use a fan to aid cooling.
  • Contact a veterinarian immediately for further instructions.

Any person in violation of the requirements set forth in this alert may be subject to enforcement, which could include fines up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail.

To report concerns, citizens may contact the Animal Control Division at 410-535-1600, ext. 2526, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If the office is closed, reports may be made to the non-emergency line at 410-535-3491.

Residents are encouraged to stay informed and prepared in the event of an emergency by visiting and signing up for Calvert County Alert to receive timely information about various emergency and non-emergency situations in the county.