Veterinarians are warning pet owners about leaving animals outside in the heat for an extended period of time.
Lee County Domestic Animal Services responded Wednesday to a call of a 14-year-old boxer in distress at a home on Northeast 15th Lane, according to a report from the Cape Coral Police Department.
Officials arrived to find the dog dead of heat exhaustion and had a body temperature that ranged from 131 degrees to 145.5 degrees, the report showed. The dog was tied to a metal pole in the yard.
The dog’s owner told police they only put the dog outside in the morning and while they got ready for school. But when officials arrived, the dog was tangled in his leash, with no food or water.
Claw marks were visible in the dirt next to the dog’s body, the report showed.
Cape Coral Veterinarian Bonnie Tucker said pet owners should never leave their dogs outside.
“Their normal temperature range should be between 100 and 102.5,” Tucker said. “The likelihood is that the dog got itself tangled up and got very excited, it had gotten frantic, it was trying to get away to try and get shelter to help itself.”
Nearby resident Jane Lestarge insists this was all a heartbreaking accident.
“They were religious in getting the dog and bringing him in before school started when they would leave,” Lestarge said. “They took really good care of the dog.”
Animal Control officials are calling this an accident and will not be pursuing charges against the dog owner.