Heat Alert for Trappers + Caretakers

Follow these hot weather tips to keep your animals safe

July 7, 2012

With temperatures climbing into the 90's and beyond, animals in our area are now at risk for heat exhaustion and deadly heat stroke. Those living both indoors and outdoors can be affected so please use extra caution when caring for all your animals, and follow these guidelines to keep them safe through the hot weather ahead:

If the forecast calls for extreme heat and you have a TNR project planned but have not yet begun trapping, consider rescheduling if both your holding space and transport vehicle are not air-conditioned. If you are in the midst of trapping do everything possible to keep the holding/recovery space cool. If there is no A/C you MUST provide fans, and extra-vigilant monitoring. Cats need to be checked more frequently than twice a day. Always offer fresh, cool water. Use only cotton sheets and make sure one corner of the sheet is turned up for air. If some cats are not particularly feral and can tolerate half-covers, do that. If your transport vehicle is not air-conditioned consider writing to the Mayor's Alliance to ask if they can transport your cats to and from the spay/neuter venue in their air-conditioned vans. Contact Mayor's Alliance Transport at transport@animalalliancenyc.org.

When trapping always keep an eye on the traps. NEVER leave traps unattended in hot weather FOR ANY REASON. You may think the trap is placed in the shade but later in the day or in a few short hours it will be in full sun!

Hot Weather Warnings
A car can quickly become deadly for an animal, especially for stressed out feral cats in covered traps. Try to transport animals with a friend so you can leave the car running with A/C on while you discharge and pick up all your cats.

Don't leave trapped cats sitting in the sun on the sidewalk!

A parked car's interior can reach over 120 degrees in less than five minutes, even with the windows partly open, causing brain damage or death.

Prolonged exposure to extreme heat can lead to heat exhaustion or possible heat stroke. Animals should not be left unattended in enclosed vehicles.

Symptoms of heat stroke include:

  • lethargy or listlessness
  • heavy panting
  • convulsions or vomiting
  • lack of coordination
  • thick, ropey saliva
  • collapse, coma or death

If you observe any of these symptoms in an animal exposed to excessive heat seek veterinary attention IMMEDIATELY.

Thank you for your vigilance! Please be safe throughout the very hot days to come this summer!