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A Life-Saving Reminder from Guilford Fire Department: Protecting Humans and Pets During The Summer

Dear Residents of Guilford,

As the summer heat blankets our town, the Guilford Fire Department wants to remind you about the dangers of heat-related deaths that extend not only to humans but also to our beloved pets. With temperatures soaring, it is crucial to be aware of the risks associated with leaving pets unattended in vehicles during hot weather. Together, we can prevent tragic incidents and ensure the safety and well-being of our community.

The Heat Trap: A Lethal Situation

Your car can become a life-threatening oven for pets in a matter of minutes. Even on a moderately warm day, the temperature inside a parked vehicle can escalate rapidly, reaching hazardous levels. With windows acting as insulators,

the heat becomes trapped, leading to an environment that poses a grave threat to any living being left inside.

The Vulnerability of Pets to Heatstroke

Pets, particularly dogs, are highly vulnerable to heatstroke. Unlike humans, they lack the ability to regulate their body temperature efficiently. When exposed to extreme heat, their core temperature rises rapidly, resulting in distress, disorientation, heavy panting, drooling, and potential vomiting. Heatstroke can quickly progress to seizures, coma, and even death if not addressed promptly. In such circumstances, every minute counts, and time may be against us.

A Shared Responsibility: Prevention is Key

To safeguard our community and our pets, the Guilford Fire Department urges all residents to take the following precautions:

1. Never Leave Pets Unattended: Never leave your pets alone in a parked vehicle, regardless of how brief you expect your absence to be. It only takes a short amount of time for temperatures to become life-threatening.

2. Plan Pet-Friendly Outings: When heading out for errands or activities, ensure your pets are safe and comfortable at home. If possible, bring them along to enjoy the outdoors safely.

3. Park Strategically: When traveling with pets, park in shaded areas and crack windows open slightly to allow for ventilation. However, the best practice is to leave your pets at home whenever feasible.

4. Educate and Advocate: Raise awareness among friends, family, and fellow pet owners about the dangers of leaving pets in vehicles during hot weather. Encourage responsible pet ownership and discourage complacency.

5. Mind the Pavement: Be mindful of hot pavements during walks with your pets. Avoid walking them during peak heat hours and use pet-safe booties if necessary to protect their paws.

6. Provide Water and Shade: When outdoors with your pet, ensure access to fresh water and a shaded area where they can rest comfortably.

Together, we can make a difference and prevent heat-related tragedies within our community. It is incumbent upon all of us to be vigilant and responsible pet owners. Let us unite in this mission to protect our loved ones – both human and furry – from the perils of summer heat.

Stay safe, stay informed, and let us embrace this summer with care and compassion for our pets.


The Guilford Fire Department


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