When the temps soar, leave pets at home


As temperatures soar, pet owners are reminded not to leave their pets in parked vehicles.

As temperatures rise into the 90s today and this weekend, animal experts and other officials urge pet owners not to leave their animals locked in parked vehicles.

Last year,  state officials unveiled legislation to deal with the issue.

“The heat of summer can be dangerous for animals, especially those left inside hot cars. Every year, countless animals die after being left behind while their owners work, visit, shop or run other errands,” said state Rep. Frank Farry (R-Bucks). “These deaths are tragic and entirely preventable.”

“It may seem convenient to leave our pet in the car to run errands, but it’s extremely irresponsible and it endangers the life of our beloved dog or cat,” said state Sen. Rob Teplitz. “Pets are not just domestic animals; they are members of our family. It’s against the law to leave a child in a hot car, so it should also be illegal to confine a dog or cat in a hot car.”

On an 80-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 99 degrees in just 10 minutes and 114 degrees within 30 minutes. Animals left in these sweltering conditions face irreversible organ damage, heat stroke, brain damage and, in extreme cases, death.

“Too many times we see pets left in hot cars as their owner runs an errand,” said Rep. Kevin Schreiber (D-York). “You may think you are being quick but it doesn’t take long for the inside of the car to reach over 100 degrees, even with the windows cracked.”

Michelle McGee, the state police community service officer with the Franklin barracks, said “It is probably safer for a pet to remain at home in a temperature controlled environment. However, if a pet owner does take their pet out within a vehicle, exercise caution keeping the pet’s safety and comfort in mind.”

Although, there maybe some folks who won’t heed the warnings. People who spot pets suffering are faced with some hard choices.

Options for help

Theresa Weldon with Precious Paws Animal Rescue in Franklin urged people to thoroughly assess the situation before getting the police involved.

“Police are traditionally reluctant to respond to animals trapped in hot cars for a number of reasons,” she added.

The first reason is education.

“Police aren’t necessarily trained to recognize heat distress in pets and there is often not a budget to incur veterinary costs to treat animals suffering from heat related illnesses; unlike hospitals, veterinarians expect to be paid upon rendering of services,” Weldon said.

The second reason is an over abundance of calls.

“Unfortunately, sometimes good Samaritans make it worse by reporting incidences where the animal is not truly in distress – the car is air conditioned or the owner is only gone a few moments,” she said.

“The way you call in the report DOES make a difference on how receptive law enforcement is to responding to it,” Weldon said.

And the third reason is that animals will always take a lower priority than human crime cases, Weldon said.

“Often, it is simply a resource issue for the police,” she said.

Weldon offered some suggestions for folks who find themselves faced with an animal in distress in a locked vehicle.

“Call your local sheriff’s office, which now has a trained humane society police officer, on staff or the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks and ask to speak to their humane law liaison,” Weldon said.

People can also go into the store and politely ask the manager to page the owner of the vehicle – make sure you have make, model, color and license of the vehicle when approaching the store manager to make the page, she suggested.

Think twice before smashing glass

“We have to advise against people opening the car doors, or busting out windows,” Weldon said. “People need to understand that you can’t just break the window. People who do that are subject to criminal prosecution.”

McGee echoed that sentiment.

“As far as legal ramifications should a window be broken, it would be at the discretion of the vehicle owner to pursue in a civil court.”

After some checking McGee said that to her knowledge “there is no immunity in Pennsylvania for someone trying to rescue a dog.”

Weldon has her own solution for these situations.

“An option I have used is to carry a flexible hose in your car.  If the window of the vehicle containing the animal is cracked open, you can turn on your air conditioner and funnel the cool air into the other vehicle,” Weldon said.

“It looks unusual and sometimes the owner will be irate with you, but if it comes down to saving a dog’s life, its worth it to me, ” she added.

Cruelty charges?

Meanwhile, in the worst case scenario and the pet is found to be in danger the owner may face cruelty charges.

McGee said the police are guided by the Pennsylvania Crimes Code – Section 5511 – Cruelty to Animals.
“This section is quite lengthy but pertaining to pets in cars, I refer to 5511 C (1) which in summary, says a person commits the offense if any animal, for which the person has a duty of care, is deprived of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter or veterinary care or access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal’s body heat,” she said.

“Again this is a summary but can be interpreted for both winter/summer weather,” she said.

McGee added that the grading for Cruelty to Animals under the subsection she previously referred is a summary offense.

“If it is a second or subsequent offense, it could rise to a misdemeanor 3. Also, charges brought forth under this section would also be done in consultation with the District Attorney’s office,” she said.

Pet protection measure

Meanwhile, the Motor Vehicle Extreme Heat Protection Act, House Bill 1516 sits at the Committee on Judiciary were it was sent on Sept. 29.

The measure would prohibit the confinement of a dog or cat in an unattended motor vehicle in a manner that would endanger the health and well-being of the animal. This violation would be a summary offense.

The measure would give a police officer, public safety professional or humane officer the authority to remove the dog or cat from the unattended motor vehicle if the officer believes the dog or cat is suffering and endangered after a reasonable search for the owner or operator of the vehicle. The officer who removes a cat or dog from an unattended vehicle would not be held liable for any damages.

Currently 17 states have laws to protect animals from being left in hot cars, the most recent enacted in Tennessee.

Farry’s House Bill 1516 has 25 co-sponsors. The Senate version of the bill, Senate Bill 977, has nine co-sponsors. Both bills have bipartisan support.

The Senate version of the measure was also sent to the Committee on Judiciary.

Pennsylvania residents who want to see some action on this bill may contact their state legislators. Here are some local legislators’ contact information.

Pat Toomey, U.S. Senator
(202) 224-4254
(814) 453-3010
Email: Use the form at toomey.senate.gov.

Bob Casey, U.S. Senator
(412) 803-7370
(814) 874-5080
Email: Use the form at casey.senate.gov

Glenn Thompson, U.S. Congressman (R-5th)
(814) 827-3985
Email: Use form at thompson.house.gov

Mike Kelly, U.S Congressman (R-3rd)
(814) 454-8190
(724) 282-2557
Email: Use form at www.kelly.house.gov

Scott Hutchinson, State Senator (R-21st)
(814) 677-6345
(724) 282-1234
(814) 728-2100
(717) 787-9684
Email: Use form at www.senatorscotthutchinson.com

Joe Scarnati, State Senator (R-25th)
(814) 837-1026
(717) 787-7084
Email: Use form at senatorscarnati.com

Michele Brooks, State Senator (R-50th)
(724) 588-8911
(814) 337-8132
(814) 734-2783
(717) 787-1322

Kathy Rapp, State Rep. (R-65th)
(814) 723-5203
Email: klrapp@pahosegop.com

R. Lee James, State Rep. (R-64th)
(814) 677-6413
(717) 783-8188
Email: rljames@pahousegop.com

Donna Oberlander, State Rep. (R-63rd)
(814) 226-9000
(724) 354-3500
(717) 772-9908

Brad Roae, State Rep. (R-6th)
(814) 827-6054

Dick Stevenson, State Rep (R-8th)
(724) 458-4911
Email: Rstevens@pahousegop.com

Michelle Brooks, State Rep. (R-17th)
(724) 588-8911
(814) 337-8132
(717) 783-5008

The three Ts


Twizzle, Twister and Tux

Precious Paws adoptable kittens Twizzle, Twister, and Tux are looking for homes.

The rescue took in three kittens, approximately 4 weeks old. They were dumped along with their mom at a known feral cat colony. Guess the person who owned them felt the colony caregiver would take care of their irresponsibility, the rescue said.

The rescue is looking for good, safe indoor homes for these babies.

Other animals waiting for forever homes from PPAR can be viewed online through its pet finder listing https://m.petfinder.com/pet-adoption/PA176 .

Precious Paws can be reached by phone at (814) 671-9827 or by email at AdoptPreciousPaws@gmail.com. More information about the group and its low-cost spay neuter program, SNYP, can be found online at pparfranklin.com or on the group’s Facebook page.

Losing a best friend



Tri-County Animal Rescue’s Jade is going to be grieving in the near future as her best friend, Julie, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer.

Surrendered together a few months ago, the pair has been housemates and best friends for seven years. At present, Jade and Julie live together in an apartment at Tri-County in Shippenville and spend their days grooming one another, playing together or wrapped in each others’ arms.

Jade and Julie

Jade and Julie

“We would be grateful to see Jade adopted into a home where the owner(s) understand how painful this transition may be for her,” the rescue said.

She is 7 years old, spayed and is up-to-date on vaccines.

“Come by Tri-County soon and see if Jade will make you her new best friend,” the rescue said.


Sweetheart on Mondays


“If you are not a fan Mondays, Sweetheart would love to be your new hiding partner,” Tri-County said.

Sweetheart loves to be petted, is 8 years old, spayed and up-to-date on her shots.

“This sweetheart of a girl would treasure spending her remaining years in a quiet, affectionate home so stop by Tri-County and meet her today,” the rescue said.



Ace is a 3 year-old-pit who has been with Tri-County since he was 8 months old. Ace was born with deformed front legs but that has not slowed him down; he loves to play but can play rough. Ace needs an owner who knows the breed and understands how to work with him. He loves to carry his toys with him and give kisses to those volunteers he trusts. Ace was born with deformed front legs and will need a home where his special needs can be met.

“We recommend no small children or other dogs,” the rescue said.

“To adopt Ace you must be willing to spend time coming to our rescue to meet him and to let him get to know you,” the rescue added.

Those interested in Jade, Sweetheart or Ace can contact Tri-County Animal Rescue Center on Facebook, or call (814) 918-2032, or email: contactus@Tricounty-arc.org.

In the dark



The Venango County Humane Society has black dog Shorty and black cat Raisin available for adoption.

Shorty, a Lab retriever/dachshund mix, is a 2 year old neutered male. He has the long straight back and longer muzzle of a Dachshund, the broad back skull and glossy black coat of a Lab. Shorty is friendly and energetic. He’ll need daily exercise to help keep him trim and to expend some of his energy. Shorty was found along Route 62 near Forest City and will probably need a refresher course in obedience training. His coat needs occasional brushing to remove dead hairs.



Raisin, a domestic medium hair, is a 2-year-old spayed female. She has a glossy black coat and commanding green eyes. Raisin likes company. When the door to her condo is opened, she comes to the front and enjoys being petted. No visit is ever long enough for her. This friendly girl is looking for a permanent address, the shelter said.

The humane society is open from noon to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. It is located at 286 S. Main St., Seneca.

More information on the humane society is available by calling 677-4040 or online at venangocountyhumanesociety.org.

Spots available for spay/neuter clinic

Clarion PAWS still has spots open for females and males for its  August 6th spay and neuter clinic.

Females are $65 and males are $45. This includes a rabies vaccine, flea and ear mite treatment.

“Our goal is to spay and neuter as many cats as we can to stop the overpopulation. We need your help to do so,” the shelter said.

There are payment options available for those who can’t afford the full price up front. The shelter is also looking for people to sponsor a surgery by donating to its spay/neuter fund.

Clarion PAWS is located at 11348 Route 322, Shippenville, Clarion River Hill, between Scrap Happy and Clarion Electric. The adoption center is open from 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturdays. The center is closed Fridays and Sundays. More information is available online at www.clarionpaws.org, the group’s Facebook page or by calling (814) 229-1231.

Rough road to recovery



Bright Futures Farm equine charity in Cochranton provided an update on one of the horses rescued from a Clarion County farm.

“Cider is not gaining weight like he should either. We think he could also have ulcers (like Tanner does). So, we have an appointment for Cider to get a gastroscopy this Friday, July 22, to determine if he also has ulcers,” the rescue said.

The rescue can still use financial help for the two boys, Tanner and Cider. Tanner is now on gastroguard for 30 days. It is $15 a day to treat him. He will also need a follow up gastroscopy and may need another 30 days of gastroguard.

If Cider has ulcers, he will need at least a 30 day treatment, and will also need a follow-up gastroscopy.
The rescue is looking at another $2,000 at least for these two boys over the next two months.

“If you can help, we appreciate it. Please share as well. Tanner and Cider still have a long road to recovery,” the rescue said.

The gofundme account is available at www.gofundme.com/22afz264.

Donations can also be made via paypal at bdee@brightfuturesfarm.org or by mail at Bright Futures Farm, 238 Old Franklin Pike, Cochranton, PA 16314.

Petfest is July 30

COOKSBURG — The third annual Petfest will be held from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, July 30, at MacBeth’s Cabin, Route 36, Cooksburg. Local non-profit animal rescues including Safehaven of Tionesta, Clarion PAWS of Clarion, Tri-County Animal Rescue of Shippenville and Willow Run Sanctuary and Adoptions of Coolspring. Titan’s Bones of Beaver Falls will be in attendance.

This year the Cook Forest Sawmill Center for the Arts will be selling pet-inspired arts and crafts and artist John Manders of Franklin will be doing caricatures.

A “slowest licking dog” ice cream contest begins at 3 p.m. Participants should be there by 2:30 p.m. Prizes will be awarded.

All attending pets must be on leash and supervised at all times.

Those attending should take cash or personal checks due to the lack of charge card accessibility.


(All About Animals is a weekly blog that appears on Venangoextra.com and Clarionextra.com. Interested persons or groups can submit information to bigdogs.thederrick@gmail.com. More information about the blog is available by contacting Anna Applegate at 814-677-8364.)