Dogs and Hot Weather

Summer is almost officially here, and with that comes the hot weather.  With every heat wave comes to debate about leaving our pets in cars and how to handle these situations.

As a member of the Paws on Patrol volunteer group with the Elk Grove Police Department, we received the following information:

Recent changes in California law allow for citizens to remove an animal from a vehicle under certain circumstances, these would  include animals being left unattended during certain weather conditions. However, allowing local authorities to assess the animal is the recommended plan of action. They have received extensive training and have experience related to animals overheating.

If action must be taken to prevent further suffering or death of an animal the law requires you to:

  1. Check to see if the vehicle doors are locked.
  2. Have a good faith belief that forcible entry is needed because the animal is in imminent danger of suffering harm if it is not immediately removed from the vehicle, and, based upon the circumstances known to the person at the time, the belief is a reasonable one.
  3. You must contact local authorities, i.e. Animal Control, Fire Department, Police, etc. prior to forcibly entering the vehicle.
  4. Remain with the animal in a safe location, out of the elements but reasonably close to the vehicle, until an animal control, police officer, or other first aid responder arrives.
  5. Use no more force than reasonably necessary to enter the vehicle and remove the animal.
  6. You must immediately turn over the animal to an animal control representative or law enforcement official.

Animals can sustain brain damage or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and by sweating through their paw pads.

If you see an animal left alone in a hot car, take down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number. Call 916-714-5111 and have someone keep an eye on the animal. Don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved.

If the animal is removed please provide water to drink, and if possible spray the animal down with cool water. If you can place the animal inside a vehicle with the air condition on if waiting for animal control or police to arrive. Be careful not to use ice or cold water, and don’t overcool the animal.


Sacramento SPCA Offers “We Pay to Spay” FREE Clinics for Pit Bulls & Pit Bull Mixes!

Dog Walking by PetWatch 916

Sacramento SPCA offers free spay or neuter for pit bulls and pit bull mixes BY APPOINTMENT ONLY.  Surgery is done at the Sacramento SPCA every Tuesday and Thursday.  The We Pay To Spay program is available only to Sacramento County residents and West Sacramento residents.  You must show proof of residency at the time of your appointment.

Due to the high demand for the free We Pay to Spay program and because scheduling is managed by volunteers, the We Pay to Spay program only accepts phone applications on the 5th of each month for appointments available the following month.

In order to be considered for an appointment through their free pit bull spay/neuter program, you must call the We Pay to Spay hotline on the 5th of the month (regardless of whether the 5th falls on a weekday, weekend or holiday) and please leave a voicemail with the following information:

1) Your full name;
2) Your home AND cellular telephone numbers, along with the best time to reach you;
3) Your dog’s gender, age and weight (approximate is fine).

Dog Sitting by PetWatch 916Volunteers schedule appointments on a “first-reached, first-scheduled” basis.  Due to the volume of calls they receive on the 5th, it may take until the end of the month for volunteers to return your call.

Please note:  SPCA volunteers typically make return phone calls in the evening and/or on weekends (from a blocked number).  It is important to answer these calls as they cannot book an appointment for your dog unless they speak with you first.

Please call:
  916-504-2817 on the 5th of the month.