Animal control calls spike as temperatures rise


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The high heat right now is a danger to any animals outside. Many of them can quickly get heatstroke and if they’re outside without supervision, it can be considered neglect.

Indianapolis Animal Care Services says there has been a spike in the last couple of weeks for heat-related calls. News 8 joined an animal control officer Thursday to see what we could find in just an hour or so.

Right now, animal control says they have 600 cases waiting to be looked at, which is higher than normal just because people are trying to look out for any pets they see outdoors in the heat.

“Whenever that first 90 degrees really started hitting, it definitely kicked in,” Animal Control Officer Kaelyn Helson said.

Officer Helson took News 8 on three calls Thursday.

A caller spotted a dog chained to a vehicle and was unsure if the dog had food or water.

“It is supposed to be chained to a vehicle, which is not technically legal,” Helson said during the first call.

“We just got a call about a dog, said that he was outside in some hot temperatures,” Helson explained to one woman at the scene. “Just came to check on him.”

Thankfully, that dog was fine and the owner got a warning about chaining dogs to vehicles.

Our second stop wasn’t as simple. A dog appeared to be abandoned at a home with no power.

“They don’t look like they’re in heat distress or anything,” Helson said. “No one’s drooling, foaming, definitely active, so hopefully it’s not too too hot in there.”

But because the owners weren’t home, the most animal control could do is give a 24-hour notice saying they’ll be back for the dog unless they’re contacted.

“In conditions like this, houses without air conditioning can be just as hot,” Helson explained. “And it is definitely a concern. So I’m just going to go tape this (a report) on their door.”

And a lot of cases end up like our final stop on Thursday. Officers didn’t see anything. But animal control doesn’t see those calls as wasted trips.

“In this heat, I would rather absolutely not write a single citation and have all dogs be safe and healthy,” Helson said.

If you see an animal that’s been outside for too long, or has been locked in a hot car, call animal control right away, because you don’t want to risk the chance that pet could be in danger. Animal Care Services says be sure to give your pet plenty of water, and they cannot stress that enough.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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