PHOENIX (KSAZ) - The pictures are heartbreaking -- a chocolate Labrador died after being left on an apartment's patio on a day when temperatures reached 113°. There was no shade and no water.
A criminal investigation is underway, but the Arizona Humane Society wants pet owners to know that conditions don't have to be this extreme for your pets to be in danger.
"It's just so frustrating and it's so preventable," said AHS' Bretta Nelson.
Working to protect pets is part of Nelson's job.
"We have to be their voice and that's why it's so important to look for signs this time of year."
And this time of year is busy for AHS. Their medical technicians are responding to dozens of calls each day.
"Each of them.. there's probably six on a shift at a time.. they're going out on 10 to 15 calls on each of them in one day of no shelter, no water.. educating the community," said Nelson.
She says the best option for pets in the summer is to keep them indoors, but if that isn't possible, make sure they have access to shade, ventilation and of course, plenty of water.
"If your pet gets overheated, they can only pant so much to cool their body down" said Nelson.
AHS recommends kiddie pools and plastic buckets. Metal ones heat up too quickly.
Nelson says to try to secure the bucket to a post or fence so it doesn't get knocked over.
And never chain your dogs. In Phoenix, it is now illegal to tether an animal in harsh weather conditions. If you see a dog in distress, call for help.
"Law enforcement and the Arizona Humane Society will take it very seriously and do what we can to punish to the full extent of the law," said Nelson.
One thing to keep in mind is that while kiddie pools and buckets are great for pets, they can be dangerous for children.