NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After a dog in Montgomery County died outside in the heat, Animal Control officers across Middle Tennessee have been reminding people to keep a close watch on their pets during the summer months.
Metro Animal Control officers said they always stay busy this time of year, especially when temperatures and humidity have been spiking.
“We get a spike in call volume,” said J.D. White, Kennel Operations Manager at Metro Animal Control. “We keep our field officers in the field as much as possible. We try and minimize their other duties, so they are addressing these calls.”
White added that kennels at Animal Control fill up quickly with dogs rescued from the heat or living with no shelter or water.
“It’s frustrating,” said White. “We try and get information out. We try and educate the public to avoid this.”
A recently passed Metro ordinance required pets tethered outdoors to be older than six months, and it stated they must be moved inside when the heat index reaches 95 degrees or there is other inclement weather. The animal must also have access to water, shelter, and food at all times. Violators have been receiving citations.
“If June is any indication of the rest of Summer, it will be a hot one,” said White. “People need to take precautions and look out for their animals.”
Violating the animal cruelty law in Tennessee has been a Class A misdemeanor for the first offense and a felony for the second offense. Punishments have ranged from fines up to $3,000 to possible jail time.