TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Reports about dogs being left outside in this extreme heat are on the rise in Pima County.
Pima Animal Care Center's Animal enforcement officers said they get an average of 15 emergency calls per day about dogs left outside without water.
Tie-out stakes are illegal in the city of Tucson and Pima County. Animal control says dogs tethered to these stakes or just left out in the backyard, are at an extreme risk for heat stroke.
A neighbor captured cell phone video of a two-month-old puppy left outside on Monday at home near Benson Highway and Irvington. The neighbor, who didn't want to show her face on camera, was in disbelief.
"He's right next to my window and it's heartbreaking…hearing the dog cry all day long," the woman said.
Tucson News Now knocked on the dog owner's door to ask him a few questions.
Tucson News Now: "How long were you gone for today?" Dog Owner: "Probably for about three hours"
Three hours – as temperatures surpassed 110 degrees on Monday.
Tucson News Now: "Do you feel he was in danger at all with just how hot it is outside?"
Dog owner: "No, like I said I just left for a little bit and that's it."
But Pima Animal Care Center says dogs can't lose heat by sweating, like humans and just a short time outside can be deadly.
"They don't sweat. They only sweat in their paw pads and they pant. That's the only way they can lower their body temperature. Dogs should not be outside for longer than 30 minutes, and not even that long because it is so hot," Amanda Barbosa, PACC Veterinarian student said.
PACC said given their high call volume on Monday, they haven't been out to meet with the dog owner. So at this point, it's not clear if they'll issue him a citation. But he told Tucson News Now he won't make the mistake again.
PACC recommends walking your dogs in the early morning hours or later at night. Also keep in mind hot asphalt can burn a dog's paw pads. Dogs are much closer to the ground than humans which makes them even more vulnerable to the heat.
If you are concerned about a dog left outside or an animal in distress, call the Pima Animal Care Center to report it, (520) 724-5900.
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