As Temps Soar, New Canaan Animal Control Urges Dog Owners To Take Precautions

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As temperatures soared toward the mid-90s Wednesday and with thunderstorms expected Thursday, New Canaan Animal Control officials are urging residents to be extra mindful of their dogs’ health and safety.

New Canaan's new Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm. Photo by Mackenzie Lewis

New Canaan’s new Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm. Photo by Mackenzie Lewis

“It’s going to get hot and ugly,” Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm told

If it’s not possible to switch to an early-morning or evening schedule, dog owners who like to jog with their dogs should shorten their runs and understand that any dog over seven years old is considered senior—like puppies, those older dogs are more susceptible to heat exhaustion.

“Also, the hot pavement,” Halm said. “People don’t realize that when the sun is beating down these sidewalks—put your hand down there and see how long you’d last. Even dogs that are conditioned to jog with you, they cannot handle this heat. They do not have the ability to perspire.”

Dogs who are left outside should always have access to water and shade, she said.

Animal Control Officer Maryann Kleinschmitt urged dog owners who drive to destinations such as the downtown or public parks to walk their dogs, to bring water with them in the car so that the dogs may drink at the end of the walk.

And on hot days like Wednesday (and for the balance of the week, temps are expected to linger in the high-80s), dogs should never be left in a car, even for what may feel like a short period of time.

Kleinschmitt—who will retire Sept. 30— additionally reminded owners of breeds that have difficulty breathing (“with pushed-in faces”) such as Cavalier King Charles spaniels, pugs and bulldogs, that on these humid days those difficulties are exacerbated.

Though Animal Control has not had to address problems of dogs left in cars so far this summer, New Canaan has seen dogs die from over-exposure to heat in cars in recent years.

Animal Control always urges residents to ensure their dogs remain on-property when off-leash, and with thunderstorms and sustained in the forecast, it’s even more important to ensure that dogs do not roam. Recently, a golden retriever that had been found roaming off-property, an animal somewhat overweight, appeared to be struggling with the heat when police finally located the animal and removed her to the cool shelter up on Lakeview Avenue, Halm said.

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