Iredell County Animal Services & Control picked up five dead dogs, all of which died from heat-related issues, and several more suffering from severe dehydration Tuesday.
“I don’t think we’ve ever had it this bad,” said Chris Royal, director of the Iredell County Animal Services & Control. “It’s just crazy. I don’t know if it’s because the humidity is so high. I don’t know, but we’ve never had this many dogs that we’re finding dead.”
Royal said the owners of the dogs found dead would be charged with cruelty to animals, a misdemeanor. she said the animals were found mostly outside in places where they were not supplied with shelter or water.
“It’s everywhere, not just in the northern end of the county, not just in Statesville,” Royal said. “we can’t even get to all the calls.”
Royal said she thought people may be going to work and forgetting to take care of their pet. she cautioned owners that dogs need a combination of fans, cool water and being brought inside periodically to survive extreme heat. One of the dogs found dead had an internal temperature of 110 degrees, nearly 10 degrees higher than a dog’s usual temperature.
Royal said many of the dogs were being taken into protected custody without a warrant being served because of the imminent danger of the situations. she cited one German Shepherd puppy that was found and eventually died.
“it was lying on the ground not moving,” Royal said. “we don’t have time to go get a warrant at that moment so we pull it under protected custody. … Neighbors are trying to give water but some of (the dogs) are too far gone.”
A Bernese mountain dog, a boxer mix and two German Shepherds, one that had intestinal worms, were among the dead dogs. the ones found alive, but dehydrated, are being treated at Animal Control. Royal said no dogs should be taken anywhere in a car in the heat, either.
“Dogs are dying and we’re just trying to save them,” Royal said.