The dog days of summer

Just when we thought it may never come, summer has seemingly settled into the Kootenay. Beaches, parks and downtown streets are once again teeming with life thanks to sunny skies and balmy temperatures.

Just when we thought it may never come, summer has seemingly settled into the Kootenay. Beaches, parks and downtown streets are once again teeming with life thanks to sunny skies and balmy temperatures.

Like clockwork the summer sizzle has spurred press releases from the local SPCA and other animal advocates about proper pet managment during hot days. It seems ridiculous that pet owners need to be reminded about how to treat their companions when the mercury rises, but it happens.

Too often dogs will be left in blazing hot cars in our downtown or at the mall. Sure the window’s cracked, but the tongue hanging sadly out of a pooches mouth is a clear sign of distress.

Visitors from out of town might have an excuse for this type of cruelty. Our overly strict downtown dog ban catches many tourists off guard and leaves them in the uncomfortable position of having to make a choice between their pet’s comfort and an opportunity to check out this little gem in the mountains. It’s an ongoing concern and one that only city council can help solve.

Locals have no excuse. It’s understandable to want our four-legged friends to tag along during our summer outings, but pet owners need to think ahead. Leaving a dog in a hot car for even a couple minutes is torture. Anyting longer than that can be tragic.

Kootenay residents love summer and they love their pets. It’s okay to get excited about the true arrival of summer, but don’t get carried away and ensure the dogs enjoy the season in comfort.

– Nelson Star