Valley animal shelter closes its doors during extreme heat

With the mercury rising, so does the risk of heat stroke and other injuries due to record-breaking temperatures, and at the Arizona Animal Welfare League, they're not taking any chances.

"Last year about the same time when we had the record-breaking heat, we also closed the shelter then for a couple days," Dr. Matthew Goetz said. "We're doing it again this year... keep all the animals indoors, keep them cool, really make sure everybody is safe."

Today and tomorrow, the AAWL will be closed to the public, however, volunteers and staff will be busy keeping things cool.

"'Pupsicles,' which are frozen treats that anybody can make at home, we have an entire freezer full that anybody can make at home, that volunteers and staff are handing out," Michael Morefield said. "We have cooling pads in some kennels, we're gonna be in the kennels reading to them, making that indoor space the space they want to be instead of going outside."

It's not an easy call to make, but for the health of the animals, it's the right one.

"So, the closure for the next two days, it's a little tough because our dogs don't get to meet some potential adopters because their safety is number one," Morefield said.

Dr. Goetz says all pet owners should provide extra water, a cool resting place, and mind the blacktop when outside.

"I always kinda tell people if you're going to walk across the pavement and you can't keep your hand there for about five seconds, it's too hot for your dog, as well," he said.

While the shelter plans to reopen its doors to the public on Thursday, the end goal remains the same.

"They're going to be a part of our family until they're a part of yours, and that's the most important thing is keeping them safe until they find forever homes," he said.