News 12 at 11 o'clock, August 6, 2007.
COLUMBIA CTY, GA---It's the first heat wave in the South, and experts are advising pet owners to use more caution.
"They don't like to come out when it's hot like this. They'd rather stay inside," said Miriam Moody. As temperatures soar into the 100's Miriam makes sure all 48 paws in her boarding business stay cool throughout the day. "They have kiddie pools in all the yards and fresh water," she said.
But Columbia County's Animal Control Director, Linda Fulmer, says many pet owners aren't as cautious. As the temperatures rise outside, so does the number of phone calls at the shelter. "We get a lot of calls of pets not having shade or water," she said. Fulmer advises animal owners to limit your pets time outdoors including short walks on a leash, but if they have to spend the summer outdoors, keep a tip-proof-bowl nearby that's big enough to hold water for the duration of time you will be gone. But no matter how quick your trip to the store may be she says it's never a good idea to leave your four-legged friend in the car. "Even if the windows are down it's like a furnace in there if the heat gets too high they'll suffer brain damage in just a few minutes," she said.
If you don't comply with Columbia County's animal ordinances, you can get a citation with penalties up to $1,000 or even face jail time.