Thursday, August 5, 2010

The PetsitUSA Blog

The PetsitUSA Blog

Austin dog dies in a hot car while his owner shops

Posted: 04 Aug 2010 04:33 PM PDT

I do a post about leaving dogs alone in cars when it’s hot at least once a year (This is #2 so far this year. Here’s the first one.) and it makes me so angry that I just can’t stand it!

Stedman, a 2 year old Weimaraner, went on a ride with his person in the afternoon, and that night he was dead – all because his person didn’t care enough about him to keep him safe. The Austin dog was left in a hot car while his owner went shopping at an electronics store. It didn’t take long before Stedman suffered from severe heat stroke, and died a terrible death as a result.

An Austin man was arrested on Tuesday for reportedly leaving his dog in a hot car while he shopped in an electronics store, killing the 2-year-old Weimaraner named Stedman.

Austin police arrested Christopher Richard Schmitt, 25, on charges of cruelty to a non-livestock animal, a state jail felony punishable by up to two years in jail.

The dog had severe heat stroke, seizures, vomiting, intestinal damage and broken blood vessels and had to be euthanized, police said.

Schmitt told police that he went to Fry's to make a quick exchange and was in the store for no more than 20 minutes. In addition, he claimed that the driver side window had been cracked, and he tried to park by a small tree with shade.

But a witness and emergency crews told a different story, according to the arrest warrant.

“According to witnesses at the scene, the windows were completely rolled up in the vehicle, so along with the heat of the day and the dog moving around and panting inside the car, the temperature could climb quickly,” said Alan Schwettmann, of the Austin Police Department’s Animal Cruelty Unit.


Animal experts say that it’s a common misconception that animals can survive if the windows are cracked, or if the car is parked in the shade. They said people often think that dogs, in particular, can handle high temperatures.

Wrong, said Charlotte Biggs, proprietor of Stay-N-Play Pet Ranch in Dripping Springs, which also does rehabilitation on injured animals. In fact, even jogging or walking with a dog in high heat can hurt or kill them, experts said.

"They can get overheated much quicker than we can,” Biggs said. “Their temperature can shoot up to 104, 105 in just a matter of ten to fifteen minutes, and that can lead to a seizure. …

"Even cracking a window a little bit, thinking they'll be okay isn't enough in this kind of heat to keep them safe. There's not enough breeze. They don't cool down the way we do they cool down by panting."

Here’s the rest from Austin’s KXAN: Dog dies in hot car; owner charged

If you think your pet is suffering from heatstroke, get him out of the heat as soon as possible. Here are a few other things you can do:

  • Put rubbing alcohol on the pads of their feet.
  • Pour cool – not cold – water on them. Start with their feet, neck, and genital areas.
  • Wrap them in a sheet or other cloth that’s been soaked with cool water.
  • Get your pet to the vet! Even if you think he’s OK, it’s a good idea to have him checked out.

Bottom line: leaving your dogs in the car when it’s hot outside is stupid and downright cruel! I don’t care if you leave the windows cracked or wide open.  Even then it’s dangerous to leave a dog in a car in hot weather. Dogs can’t handle the heat as well as we can, and run the risk of developing heat stroke much more quickly. Please, please, please do NOT leave your dog in a hot car. If it’s hot and uncomfortable for you, it’s going to be even worse for your dog!

Pet Food Recall: Merrick Texas Hold’ems due to Salmonella

Posted: 04 Aug 2010 06:31 AM PDT

Merrick Pet Foods is extending a recent recall, due to salmonella, announced last month.

Merrick Pet Care, Inc. of Amarillo, Texas is extending its July 2, 2010 recall of 10oz "Beef Filet Squares for Dogs (Texas Hold'Ems)" pet treat (ITEM # 60016 LOT # 10084TL7 BEST BY MARCH 24, 2012) to also include 83 cases of "Texas Hold'ems" (ITEM # 60016 LOT # 10127 BEST BY MAY 6, 2012) because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products. People handling the treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the chews or any surfaces exposed to these products. Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner by securing them in a covered trash receptacle.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers immediately.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

The Beef Filet Squares (Texas Hold 'Ems) were shipped to distributors and retailers throughout the US. These individuals have been notified and have activated their recall procedures.

The treats are sold in 10oz plastic bags marked with "Lot # 10127 Best By May 6, 2012" on the top of the bag and on a sticker applied to the bottom.

No illnesses have been reported to date for either lot of product. A sample tested positive for Salmonella.

Consumers who have purchased 10 ounce packages of "Texas Hold'ems" are urged to return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-664-7387 M-F 8:00 – 5:00 CDT.

Merrick does have the announcement on their website: Merrick Pet Care Recalls Texas Hold’ems 10 oz. Bag (Item# 60016 Lot 10127 Best By May 6, 2010) Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk.

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