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Rise in animal neglect, heat strokes in dogs reported amid shortage of veterinarians

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Animal neglect calls to Animal Care Services have increased in San Antonio. High temperatures are affecting pets just as much as their human counterparts. Veterinarians across the city are treating animals with burned paws and heat exhaustion. Even responsible pet owners have unknowingly left pets outside in the sun for too long with little to no shade.

Signs of heat stroke in dogs include heavy panting, drowsiness, and weakness. Hot pavement can burn the paws of dogs or leashed animals. If burnt paws are left untreated, they could become infected.

Animal shelters have also reported an increase in surrendered or abandoned pets in recent months. Many shelters have had to euthanize animals due to an influx of drop-offs and the inability to place them in new homes.

A shortage of veterinarians has also put a strain on easy access to animal care. Some animal hospitals have reported upwards of 4 to 6 hour wait times.

What are the signs of heat exhaustion in dogs, cats, and other pets? What are the best tips for pet owners to take care of their dogs in high-temperature weather? When should you call San Antonio Animal Care Services if you suspect an animal is suffering from neglect? What’s leading to the influx of families surrendering their animals?

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*This interview was recorded on Wednesday, August 3.

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