Tethers in heat

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JEFFERSON CITY - Temperatures are rising, and one expert says animals need more attention when tethered outside.

"Heat exhaustion can be a concern," Jessica Thiele, animal shelter veterinarian, said. "Since they are not being watched, they might break off of their chain or tether, and they might be running into traffic or harms way."

Thiele said it's important to double check pets' water bowls during the summer.

"Make sure you have a nice, big bowl," Thiele said. "One that's difficult to tip over, because they might spill their bowl in the morning and then go through the afternoon without any water available."

If the pet is outside all day, Thiele suggests getting creative.

"Maybe do some fun things like putting ice in there to keep it nice and cold," Thiele said. "It'll melt over the day to make sure they have water available until you get home."

One dog owner said she thinks dogs shouldn't be tethered during the summer at all.

"If someone has their dog tied up outside all day, animal control should take that dog away from them," Laura Stewart said. "He's not a toy that you put outside when you're finished playing with him. Treat him like you want to be treated."

Stewart said she believes owners should leave dogs in a big, fenced yard if they must be outside.

If someone is worried about a tethered dog, Thiele said by-standers can take action.

"We can always send an animal control officer out to do a well-being check," Thiele said. "They'll chat with the owner, make sure ordinances are being met, water is available, shelter, all those things."

Thiele said neighbors shouldn't hesitate to call their local animal control if they think a dog may have heat exhaustion. 

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