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Animal Control warns Iowans to keep pets out of extreme heat

DES MOINES - A dog is dead after being left outside with no food, water or shelter. 

On Monday, the Animal Rescue League (ARL) found a dog with an internal body temperature hotter than a thermometer could read. 

Now the ARL is warning pet-owners that just a little time outside when it's this hot can be detrimental. 

Local 5 rode along with Des Moines Animal Control as they went out on calls for animals in distress.

Tina Updegrove is ARL's lead Animal Control officer. She says almost every call she's gotten in the past few days has been for a dog outside in the extreme heat, or left in a parked car.

She says every call is completely preventable.

"Just be vigilant, I mean it is too hot outside to be leaving your animals out for really any long period of time," said Officer Updegrove. "You shouldn't be leaving them out and going to work or leaving them out and running errand. You need to monitor your pets."

But not all do. Officer Updegrove responded to one call about...

"A dog that has been out in this sun all day barking."

The owners weren't home, but there was a dog tied up in the back. 

The pup had a little shade, but no water. He was hot, but not in distress.

Then the owners pulled up. Officer Updegrove explained how bad it could have been to leave this dog outside without proper shelter or cold water. 

"We had a dog die yesterday because he couldn't get to water. It can happen and it can happen quickly.

This time the family got away with just a warning.

"If we get called out here again or he is tangled up like he was, he is probably going to be impounded and citations will be written because especially in this heat you have to be very, very cautions."

Officer Updegrove says calls like these serve as a good reminder for everyone to keep their pets safety a priority this summer.

If you are worried about your animal overheating this summer, the ARL has a solution for that. They have several daytime cooling centers around Polk County.

Hours run from 11 a.m to 8 p.m on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. You can call 211 to find locations near you and more information can be found here.

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