Not cool!: Pets need extra care during the summer months

Summer can be unbearable for residents of Brownsville, but that is especially the case for their pets.

Before a new pet owner walks out of the Brownsville Animal Regulation & Care Center this summer, staffers will hand them a “Summer Safety Tips for Pets” flyer.

“We ask people to walk their pets early in the morning or late in the day when temperatures are less hot. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for their paw pads,” said Nellie Zamora, BARCC supervisor.

Zamora said the shelter has not seen any pets come in with heat exhaustion, but it is important to remind owners to take a number of precautions for outside pets.

“If the pet is kept outside, we want to make sure that people leave their pets in a shaded area under a tree where (they have) protection from direct sunlight, and if they do think their pet is a victim of heat exhaustion, to rush them to the vet,” Zamora said.

Heat exhaustion’s symptoms include excessive panting, drooling, weakness and lethargy, and seizures. These are all signs of a heat stroke, Zamora said.

If taking a pet out, do not leave it in the vehicle unattended because temperatures can reach more than 100 degrees in 10 minutes on an 85 degree day.

“If people see that, they need to report it right away,” Zamora said.

People can call animal control at (956) 548-7000 to report an incident.

Pets with longer coats may require more grooming to stay cool during the summer, Zamora said.

“It’s also important to keep your pet’s microchip updated. A lot of pets go missing because of loud noises that frighten them, especially like fireworks,” Zamora said. “It can be quickly placed back in the home if the pet appears at the shelter.”


– excessive panting or difficulty breathing

– increased heart and respiratory rate

– drooling

– mild weakness

– stupor or even collapse

– seizures

– bloody diarrhea and vomit

Read the Harlingen ordinance on animal treatment

Sec. 6-121. – Inhumane treatment of animals.

(a) No owner shall fail to provide his animal with good wholesome food and water, proper shelter and protection from the weather, veterinarian care when needed to prevent suffering, humane care and treatment. Any owner of animals shall maintain a clean and healthful shelter and living area for any animal being kept, which area shall be free of accumulated waste and debris so that the animal is free to walk or lie down without coming in contact with such waste or debris. All such shelters or living areas must be cleaned and maintained regularly so as to promote proper health for the animals being kept.

(b) No owner shall abandon any animal, abandonment consisting of leaving such animal for a period in excess of 24 hours, without providing for someone to feed, water and check the animal’s condition. No owner shall leave an animal by a roadside or other area, or leave such animal on either public or private property, without the property owner’s consent. An animal so left shall be deemed abandoned. In the event that an animal is found so abandoned, such animal may be taken by an animal control officer or police officer and impounded in the animal shelter or other facility maintained by the city, and there confined in a humane manner. Such animal, if taken from private property, shall be kept for not less than 72 hours. In the event the animal is so abandoned, the owner or the person, if and whom he has charged with the animal’s care, shall be subject to a citation in violation of this section.