PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A yellow Labrador is in stable condition after he was left outside in Friday’s sweltering heat for hours in Pittsburgh’s Homewood section.
“If that neighbor waited another half an hour, this dog would have been dead. I can tell you that,” said Dan Rossi, of the Animal Rescue League.
The 3-year-old yellow lab is fighting for its life after its owners left it outside in the sun without enough shade or water Friday.
Rossi says they had to pack him in ice just to get his temperature down to 102 degrees. He was also given fluids and medicine. But cannot walk and may have brain damage.
“When we got the dog in, we found that it had an internal temperature of 108.8 degrees, way too high for that situation,” said Rossi.
A concerned neighbor on Hermitage Street watched the dog from a window out of concern for several hours. When the neighbor saw him collapse at 3 p.m., Animal Control came in.
It’s a horrible reminder to pet owners that heat stroke can happen in animals quickly.
“Their cooling systems are different,” Rossi added. “Dogs don’t sweat like we do. The way they cool themselves is through the panting process, a little different, a little harder for them to cool themselves.”
Rossi says during this extreme heat pet owners should only be letting animals out for potty breaks, no running, no playing ball and certainly no extended time outside in the scorching sun and humidity.
Animal Rescue League officials will continue to watch the dog, but if he can’t walk within the next few days, he may have to be put down.
The owners could face charges pending the outcome of an active investigation.