KANSAS CITY, Mo. — People aren’t the only ones wilting in the heat.
Animals forced outside during this ongoing hot stretch feel hot too, and KC Pet Project has officers responding the calls for help, some of which are seen as a matter of life and death.
KC Pet Project animal services officers are seeing a 16% uptick in calls for service from a year ago, some of which are concerns over dogs left outside when the weather is hotter than 90 degrees.
The metro’s current Excessive Heat Warning continues through Friday. The heat index has been higher than 110 degrees at times. City ordinance demands pet owners to provide the basics for their animals, including water and shade.
Anna Redford, an animal services officer who often responds to these calls, believes some owners don’t realize what animals need to survive in the heat.
“It could be how people were raised with animals in their households. It could be they just don’t know. Other times, it could be intentional. We still try to help,” Redford said on Wednesday.
Redford visited one home in the city’s Old Northeast Neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon, when the temperature was in the high 90s.
The homeowner had four outdoor dogs, all of which had access to water bowls and a shady front porch. The dogs’ owner took them inside the house to be on the safe side.
Tori Fugate, KC Pet Project’s longtime spokesperson, said these calls don’t always happily.
“Our officers were driving around and found a dog that was just tied to a pole next to a church. Thankfully, we brought that dog in just in the nick of time. Our vet clinic worked on that dog,” Fugate said.
KC Pet Project’s call center can be reached via 311 or at (816) 683-1383.