Animal cruelty investigators doing their part to help improve the lives of animals

PHOENIX (FOX 10) -- The scorching hot temperatures this summer are tough enough on humans, but the desert heat puts thousands of animals at risk, and the Arizona Humane Society gets dozens of calls a day for animal welfare checks.

"We're going to go out and do a couple of investigations," said Julie Bolchalk. "The sun's coming up, so we might get some of those tethering, no water, no shelter calls now that the sun's shining."

Every day is different, and often times, not in a good way for the animal cruelty investigators with the Arizona Humane Society. However, keeping animals alive and out of danger is why many people like Bolchalk do what they do.

"Yeah, I cry a lot, but it's never too much that I don't want to do it," said Bolchalk.

As the Balley heats up, the calls to the Arizona Humane Society ramp up, with Bolchalk and others at AHS often trying to save dogs and cats from overheating and dehydration. A third of the calls in the summer are devoted to those types of emergencies.

On our ride along, Bolchalk starts by checking out a neighbor complaint.

"We got a call. It's somebody who is concerned says there is a small canine left on the patio," said Bolchalk. "No water, patio is covered in feces and urine, and canine cannot move or sit."

There was no answer at the home. The Humane Society can't close a case until there's contact made with a pet owner in these instances. This case will require a follow-up.

"There was an empty cage," Bolchalk said. "A lot of urine, lot of feces, looked like it was from a dog."

The next call is much more pressing. Phoenix Police officers were on scene for an arrest when they noticed a suspect's dog was in danger. They called AHS.

A scared female dog was chained up with little shade at the suspect's house. Bolchalk was warned the dog might be aggressive, so she tries to earn the animal's trust with some treats. On a day that would've been considered nearly perfect weather-wise for us humans, the dog was subjected to very hot temperatures.

"The highest read was 123, and that was near the place where she was laying down under that chair, and that was her only shelter," said Bolchalk.

In one case, a dog was taken out of the heat, and into an air-controlled kennel. Crews think she was just hungry and thirsty, so she'll go to the animal hospital to get checked out. Hopefully, she'll be back on her feet in no time.

The Humane Society will provide any rehabilitation necessary for the animal and then, hopefully, find her a new, loving, forever home. For Bolchalk, it's the part of the job that can be most rewarding.

"I like being a part of something that's bigger, that helps them. Who doesn't want to help the defenseless with no voices? It's nice to be a voice for them because they're so loyal and loving and kind, they don't always get that back. So, I like being a part of something that helps them get that back a little." said Bolchalk.

Last year, the AHS responded to 7,400 suspected cases of animal cruelty, and rescued more than 4,000 sick or injured animals.