SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — We’ve seen a lot of really hot summer days recently. And when humans are warm, so are our pets with all their fur.
There are also multiple reasons why our pets may run off or get lost during the summer.
Storms, fireworks and hot weather — things humans are used to experiencing each summer. But for our pets, they can bring unexpected stress.
Summer is the busiest season for Sioux Falls Animal Control.
“Pretty much everything picks up in the summer. We do have a lot more bites, dog bites and cat bites, from animals running around or just kids being at home with their own pets,” Julie Lindstrom, animal control supervisor
Pet well-being calls also increase in the summer.
“We also get a lot of complaints this time of year about animals being left in cars while people go in to eat or go shopping. And we like to just advise people to please just leave your pet at home. Or if you’re going to leave it in the car, make sure there is water, make sure you leave the car running and locked with the air conditioner going,” Lindstrom said.
Lindstrom says you should also make sure your pets have plenty of water if you leave them out during the day.
“Shade is also very important, or cover, so shade or protection from the rain.” Lindstrom said. “Lots of times we’ll also get called because animals are on chains or leashes and they get tangled up on things that are in the backyard and they can’t get to their water.”
The Sioux Falls Area Humane Society has officers who will respond to stray animal calls in the counties surrounding Sioux Falls.
“Cats are generally our busiest animal during this time of year, I would say. You know, springtime kitten litters and then you’re starting to find them now because they’re getting mobile,” Caley Harr, Human officer said. “Fourth of July holiday, or really any weekend holiday, we’re going to find a lot more dogs. They get loose or get scared and take off.”
Harr wants to remind pet owners to make sure their dogs and cats are microchipped or have an identification tag so they can easily be found.
“If you’re in an unfamiliar situation, unfamiliar area with your animal, always make sure they’re on a leash. I don’t care how good your animal’s recall is, nine times out of ten, if they’re spooked they are going to run. And that is probably the biggest thing that we see,” Harr said.
Keeping pets secure during summer storms is also important.
“People have their farm dogs or they have barn cats and things. Just really try to get them, like get home before the storm hits, get them locked up. Whether it be in the barn, a garage, anything that you have just to confine them so that they are safe so that you don’t have to worry about anything happening to them,” Harr said.
When it comes to wildlife within city limits, Sioux Falls Animal Control can help you in certain situations.
“If it’s a raccoon or a skunk, we will assist with loaning a trap, removing the animal, and then euthanizing it because raccoons and skunks both carry rabies and they are a big concern for us in the city and we want to make sure that dogs and cats and people aren’t exposed to rabies,” Lindstrom said.
But not all critters are cause for concern.
“So our primary role is public safety. So animals that are rabbits, squirrels, woodchucks, opossums, those aren’t really dangerous to the public, they are more of a nuisance. So we let people deal with those on their own,” Lindstrom said.
Lindstrom says they also see a lot of calls about bats during the summer.
“And if the bat is in your living space and you need us to come to remove it, we will do that. I would say the best things that you can do are to lock it in a room. If possible, put it in a container safely with some leather gloves on your hands, if you can. Otherwise, just make sure you know where it is when you call us,” Lindstrom said.
Harr says for county wildlife concerns, call Game, Fish and Parks.
Sioux Falls Animal Control will take strays within city limits to the Sioux Falls Area Humane Society as well.