Owners Could be Penalized for Leaving Outside Pets in the Heat

Owners Could be Penalized for Leaving Outside Pets in the Heat

<font size=2> <P>The dog days of summer are here in full force and that has Wichita Falls animal control officials barking about a growing problem.</P> <P>They say they're getting more calls about residents violating a city ordinance regarding their outdoor pets and breaking that ordinance could put pet owners in the dog house.</P></font>

Pets can make you smile, but Wichita Falls animal officials say this summer... some of these loyal family friends are being left in harms way because their owners are violating a city ordinance.

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"The pet owners are to provide either natural or artificial shade. Natural being trees. We can even count houses if they cover up during the sunlight hours if they go out far enough. Artificial could be tarps, canopies, eaves or anything like that," says Wichita Falls Animal Control Supervisor Steve Dodge.

The ordinance also requires owners to provide pets with fresh water but officials say a plastic bowl is preferred over a metal one.

"Because water heats up real quick in 100 degrees and if it's in a metal pan it heats up even quicker," Dodge explains.

Drinking hot water on a hot day could put your pets health at risk.

That's why you can expect animal control officers to be on the hunt for violators.

"We're out looking a lot more right now. Especially in this heat. Especially through back alley's into back yards if they're visible through chain link fences... if they've got water. If they've got shade, tarps.You know, anything that can make their life easier," says Dodge.

Animal Control officials have something to help make it easier for pet owners to follow the city ordinance; a fine of up to $400.

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