Shelter Pets Suffer in Sweltering Heat

One of the things you can count on in the South is air conditioning – everybody has it.  Most especially retail establishments because without it, they would be unlikely to do much business in the summers.  An unfortunate exception to this rule is animal shelters.  They often lack the funding to have air conditioning throughout the shelter.  Not only is this bad for business – since potential adopters either won’t stay long or come at all during the hot weather months – it’s also inhumane for the shelter pets.

The cost of putting an air conditioning system in place at a no kill shelter in NC – The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina – is about $10,000.  But who has that kind of money?

The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina has no such system. With no air conditioning in the kennel area, temperatures registered at 109 degrees on Thursday, Executive Director Callie Clements said.

“We’ve had heat, but it’s never been this bad for this long,” she said in an interview Friday. “Even the state inspector commented it was too hot for a dog.”

Volunteers at the Humane Society have been reporting for duty early in the mornings to take the dogs out for walks before temperatures start to soar. In the afternoons, they set up fans inside the hallway to try to circulate more air.

The North Carolina Department of Agriculture, which licenses animal shelters, recommends temperatures inside a shelter not exceed 85 degrees. Clements said the Humane Society cannot achieve that temperature without an air conditioning system that would cost about $10,000.

“Something has to be done,” she said. “It affects the animals and the staff, the volunteers.”

For the average working schmo, a donation of this amount isn’t possible.  If only there were some large animal welfare organizations that had millions and millions of dollars donated to them by people who want shelter pets cared for humanely.  One of them could maybe step up and write a $10,000 check which would mean a world of difference to a shelter like HSEC but would be a drop in the bucket to a large, wealthy animal welfare group.  If only…

Alternatively, donors who want shelter pets cared for humanely could donate directly to their local no kill shelter.  That way, they know the shelter got the money, and that their donation is not subject to the political fancies of some board room executive in a big city high rise – air conditioned, no doubt.

3 thoughts on “Shelter Pets Suffer in Sweltering Heat

  1. Perhaps HSUS should be charging shelters $20,000 a pop for advice on how to do effective (albeit sleazy) fund-raising instead of offering those generic reviews that tell shelters they need to spend money on things like A/C.

  2. “If only there were some large animal welfare organizations that had millions and millions of dollars donated to them by people who want shelter pets cared for humanely. ”

    ah yes IF ONLY indeed…meanwhile HSUS passes all sorts of laws demanding that breeder kennels be kept between 65 /85 degrees all year long.. 12 air changes PER HOUR and other impossible stuff.. so it is OK with them that shelter animals be kept in the heat.. but kennel dogs.. of course not..

  3. Surely the NC H$U$ State Director, Kimberly Alboum, will advocate for this no-kill shelter – as you say what is $10,000 to an organization that rakes in millions & millions?

    Sadly, don’t hold your breath unless you look good in blue!

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