Animal control agents cite inhumane treatment

ALBANY -- Calls about the inhumane treatment of dogs brought Albany Animal Control agents out to three locations Monday.

Animal control agents responded to a 93-degree heat index call to save a schnauzer locked in a red Jeep Cherokee parked outside the Division of Family and Children Services office.

"The animal was left inside with the two front windows partially open," the report stated. "The dog was heavily panting, although the animal had little water inside the vehicle, it was visibly distressed."

According to the report, a security officer at DFACS reported that he had searched the building for the Cherokee's owner for an hour with no result. Eventually the dog's keeper, Leroy Williams, who the reports stated works at the location, was located.

Williams said he "wasn't in the building that long," and left the dog in the Jeep at 1 p.m., said the report.

"Contact was made with Mr. Williams at 1354 hours (1:54 p.m.)," the report stated. At that time the dog had a temperature of 104.5 degrees.

According to the website vetmedicine.about.com: "Canine normal body temperature range is 100.5 - 102.5 Fahrenheit. A body temperature below 100 or above 103 warrants a call to your veterinarian."

Williams was cited for inhumane treatment and not having a valid rabies tag on the dog, the report said. He was instructed to remove the dog from the car and provide him proper care.

An anonymous complaint about a dead dog brought animal control agents to 1604 Worrell Court. Smoky, a 2-year-old pit bull, was found dead in the yard, the report stated.

The animal control agent wrote in the report, "I checked the dog thoroughly and saw no signs of trauma or any bite marks to indicate a snake bite. The dog was thin but had a clean unscarred coat. No signs of fighting or physical abuse were noted."

The dog's owner, Emanual Webster, had known Smoky was sick and taken steps to treat him at home, the report stated. "He thought the dog was getting better because they ran laps yesterday," the report added.

Webster was cited for inhumane treatment for failure to seek veterinary care and no rabies tag.

Complaints since July 20 brought animal control agents to 1213 Van Deman St. concerning 17 dogs owned by Charles Zackery, a report stated.

Zackery had given 10 dogs away, but retained seven, including three with valid rabies tags, the report stated.

"Contact was made with Mr. Zachery concerning multiple complaints that I get about his dogs... . I have left repeated warnings about the dogs and Mr. Zackery has mode no effort to contact me," the animal control agent wrote. "I am still getting complaints about the dogs."

The report added Zachery was cited for four counts of animals running at large and four counts of no valid rabies tags on the dogs.

Summer pet safety tips

Summer is a time for people and their pets to enjoy the sunshine and outdoors, but along with the fun, the season also provides situations that can endanger a pet. By taking precautions the chances that pets will suffer can be decreased. Albany Animal Control offers tips for pet owners to keep their furry friends safe this summer:

1. Do not leave your pets in parked cars for any period of time. Animals left in parked cars can suffer brain damage and die from heatstroke. Even with the windows cracked, the temperature in a car can reach 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. Dogs and cats can't perspire. Instead they dispel heat by panting and through the pads of their feet. If you see an animal in a parked car during the summer, alert the management of a nearby business. If the owner does not return promptly, call local animal control or the police.

2. Do not drive with a dog in the back of a pickup. Flying debris can cause serious injury, and a dog may be thrown into traffic if the driver hits the brakes, swerves, or is hit by another car. Dogs should ride either in the cab (in a crate or wearing a seat belt harness designed for dogs) or in a secured crate in the truck bed.

3. People fertilize their lawns and work in their gardens in summer. But be aware: Plant food, fertilizer, and insecticides can be fatal if a pet ingests them.

4. A pet must always wear a collar and rabies tag. If you are separated from your pet, the rabies tag could be its ticket home.

5. Pets and pools can equal disaster. Prevent free access to pools and always supervise a pet in a pool.

6. Provide plenty of water and shade for your pets while they're outdoors so they can stay cool.

7. Pets need exercise even when it is hot. Extra care needs to be taken with older dogs, short-nosed dogs and those with thick coats. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Keep in mind that asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pet's paws.

8. Fleas and ticks attack in summer. Use flea and tick treatments recommended by a veterinarian. Over-the-counter treatments can be toxic, even if instructions are followed.

9. Crowded summer events with their heat and noise can lead to harmful stress on the animals. Keep pets at home.