For Immediate Release:
May 19, 2022
Nicole Meyer 202-483-7382
Norfolk, Va. – With temperatures expected to reach the 90s in your area this weekend—putting “outdoor dogs” at high risk of enduring heat prostration and dying—PETA is issuing an urgent warning and reminder that it is illegal to tether a dog outside unattended in Virginia when temperatures are above 85 degrees. Dogs must be kept indoors or in a securely fenced-in area with access to adequate food, water, and shelter. PETA also urges people to be on the lookout for dogs who are in need of assistance, including those who may be experiencing heatstroke symptoms, and advises everyone to do the following:
- Touch the pavement before walks to ensure that it won’t burn dogs’ foot pads.
- Be alert to a long, curled-up tongue and heavy panting, as dogs cannot sweat as humans can and heat builds up inside their bodies.
- Walk only in the shade or on earth or grass, and never leave animals outdoors in extreme heat or inside vehicles.
Last summer, PETA fieldworkers discovered the body of a dog who had died after being left chained up in the hot sun, with similar reports nationwide. A law-enforcement officer also mistakenly left a dog inside his patrol car and the K-9 succumbed to heat prostration and died. In 2021, 59 dogs reportedly died from heat-related causes. (The actual figure is likely far higher, as most heat-related companion animal deaths go unreported.)
Anyone who leaves animals outside to suffer in severe weather may be prosecuted for cruelty.