Animal Cruelty/Neglect: Shelter

  • That the animal has access to adequate ventilation and is protected from temperature extremes at all times. In this connection, it is unlawful for any person to keep any animal in a vehicle or other enclosed space in which the temperature is either so high or so low, or the ventilation is so inadequate, as to endanger the animal's life or health.

Have you ever gone camping at a high elevation during the winter? If it's REALLY cold and you have a choice of sitting in a cold tent or sitting in the sun, most people will choose the sunlight for warmth. Dogs kept outside will, too. However, if your car breaks down on Interstate 10 in July, you wouldn't sit in the car with the windows rolled up. You would soon be driven from your vehicle to seek shade some place where you could have exposure to a little breeze or at least a lower temperature than inside your car.

It's the same principle with a dog house. Shelter in the form of a small, confined area is great during the winter when a dog is trying to stay warm at night or get in out of the rain. However, in our area where temperatures soar to over 115° during the day, the idea of lying inside a small dog house and baking during the heat of the day is not inviting. In fact, it's illegal.

Heat stroke KILLS animals just like people. Pets must have adequate ventilation and temperature relief no matter where they are. Owners who do not provide adequate shelter/shade or leave their pets in vehicles during our hot summers will be cited for cruelty in Pinal County.

Even in a human home where ventilation and temperature should not be a problem there can be other issues. One is overcrowding. How would you like to live in a small cage with other animals, standing or lying on a wire grate? If you've ever spent the day at a park and rested your elbows on the metal picnic table with those little ridges in it, you know how sore that can make your skin.

Think about not being able to stand or lie down on anything but wire - EVER.

There are some things that animal control agencies across the country can and cannot regulate. Puppy mills are one of the current hot topics. These dogs belonged to a breeder in the Apache Junction area and had been bred to the point of damaging their health.

Pregnant and nursing pets need more food by volume and nutrition than normal. Over- breeding can cause serious immediate and long term health problems. When calcium is drawn from the mother's own system, her bones become frail and tooth deterioration begins. If the female is not spayed, she will continue to produce puppies every six months until she suffers irreversable health problems which will ultimately shorten her life.

This poor mama had been left to survive on her own for far too long. Based on her estimated age, she had probably delivered anywhere from 48 to 60 puppies in her lifetime. The effects are obvious.

As a pet owner, it is not enough to simply give your pet a little food and water and nothing more. Regular vet visits and spaying or neutering your pets is a must.