Protecting pets from the heat
It's against city law to leave dogs unattended in a vehicle for more than five minutes when temperatures are higher than 80 degrees. Yet, in the past three months, as temperatures have climbed, several police reports have been filed about dogs left in vehicles.
On Saturday, when it was 95 degrees, a dog was left in a car at Dillons parking lot, 3000 W. Sixth St., according to a police report.
"I think it's crazy," said Midge Grinstead, director of the Lawrence Humane Society.
She said dogs heat up from the inside, and it takes them a long time to cool down. She also said that when they pant they are taking in hot air, which just exacerbates the problem.
The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory that is in effect until 7 p.m. today. Jennifer Schack, 6News chief meteorologist, said to expect a high today of 102 degrees with a heat index of 110. The heat index measures how hot it feels when relative humidity is added to the actual temperature.
The heat advisory states that "pets can succumb to the effects of the excessive heat" and that they need plenty of water and shade.
"Do not keep pets in cars with the windows rolled up, even partially. Temperatures inside a car with the windows rolled up can reach over 150 degrees quickly, resulting in stroke and death," the advisory states.
Grinstead said she has picked up some dogs that were comatose.
Animal control officers typically respond to these calls, but Lawrence police respond if animal control officers aren't available.
Lawrence police Sgt. Paul Fellers said officers will issue a citation for animal cruelty if there is a clear violation. He said if there are questionable circumstances, officers will forward the report to Municipal Court for possible charges.
Schack said slightly cooler weather is in the forecast, with temperatures expected in the 90s Thursday.
"Hopefully, it will be a slow and steady decline into the weekend," she said.