Like many places in the southwest, temperatures in San Antonio, Texas, can reach the triple digits during the summer months, creating dangerous conditions for pets who are left outdoors all day.
In fact, two months ago, a 6-month-old puppy named Molly suffered horrific thermal burns after likely being left outside in the sun for days. Her fur had singed off, and in its place was a bright red strip of exposed skin. (The graphic photos can be seen on Facebook, but be warned that they are tough to look at.)
Sadly, thermal burns like Molly’s are common in warm weather places and reportedly happen every year in the Texas city. Now, however, future cases will be a criminal offense, thanks to a new law passed by the San Antonio City Council.
According to the new ordinance, pet owners will be required to provide shade to animals at all times. The shade can consist of anything from an overhanging tree or foliage to a man-made patio or pop-up tent, but it must provide the animal some reprieve from sun. Those who violate the ordinance could face up to $2,000 in penalties.
“Every summer, [Animal Care Services] receives thousands of animal neglect calls,” Pelaez told local news outlet, KSAT. “Adding the definition of shade to our current code bridges a critical gap, and provides ACS officers with the necessary tools to ensure our pets are safe, especially during the hot summer months.”
As for Molly, the young dog who was severely burned after being left outside, she has made a full recovery and has been adopted by a new family, thanks to the care and support she received from the city’s Animal Care Services department.
Just look at this smiling face:
We have an update on Molly! She's the 8 month old, Shepherd mix who had a severe burn down her back. Last month, through our partnership with Animal Care Services, we transferred Molly into our care. Thanks to the diligent work and care of our veterinarians and hospital staff, she has made a great recovery! Her wounds are now healed and she is one happy pup! Due to our incredible partnership with City of San Antonio Animal Care Services, we have been able to give this beautiful dog a second chance at a wonderful life. Molly is now ready to find her forever home and is available for adoption at our main campus! #dogstagram #shepherdmix #satx #sanantonio #sanantoniotx #adoptdontshop #rescuedog
Hopefully more cities will follow in San Antonio’s footsteps and pass similar laws to protect pets like Molly from harsh weather and scorching temperatures.