Top news in the dog world is the tragic death of seven high priced show dogs, including the Akita, “Jersey” who was regarded as the fourth top ranked Akita in the USA.

It is reported that the handler returned home after a dog show and left the dogs in her van around one o’clock  in the early morning when she went to sleep.

The dogs which died from possible heat stroke were a Malamute, a Siberian Husky, a Dalmation,  three Golden Retrievers and the Akita, “Jersey”.

The handler said the garage was too hot to return the dogs to in their  kennels  so she left them in the cargo van.  She said she put 6 electric fans there to keep them cool,  she left the van door open and a window partly open.

When she awoke around 6:30 am. the dogs were in distress. Only one of the eight dogs survived when they were rushed to a vet.

It is thought that the temperature could rise to 120 degrees inside the van and the dogs’  body temperature could have exceeded 108 degrees.

The vet there said that it takes only five minutes for heat stroke to happen.  Dogs do not sweat, they pant and that is not enough to release the heat in the brain.

The lone survivor was a Siberian Husky who was shown to have kidney failure and was being monitored.

The most recent news on this is that the 24 year old handler has been charged with 8 counts of animal cruelty.

It is bad news and I don’t think the handler dreampt for one minute that the dogs in her care were in any danger.  But if she has just taken them out of the hot van, in their crates,  they could still have been alive.  It was a judgemental call.

In Barbados, I often see people walking dogs at times of the day when the sun is very hot.  We all need to be aware of heat stroke and be conscious of the need to provide water and shade also for dogs which may be tied up and in kennels.

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