Charleston Animal Society Issues Heat Emergency Warning

Animal Owners Urged to Limit Outdoor Activities During Daytime

JULY 20, 2023 | NORTH CHARLESTON – Charleston Animal Society is issuing a heat alert for all companion and working animals.  This week the National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for the Lowcountry, due to temperatures climbing up near 100 degrees. According to the University of Kentucky, heat stress will reach the EMERGENCY level during daytime hours throughout this week.


The University of Kentucky College of Agriculture has developed a weather heat-stress index for livestock that can be referenced by zip code. Weather for each day this week in Charleston will reach the “Emergency” level.

Go to:

  • Type in zipcode
  • Click on AgWeather Forecast
  • Scroll down to see Livestock Heatstress

Charleston Animal Society is urging caretakers of working animals, such as horses and mules that pull tour carriages downtown, working dogs, farm animals, service animals and others to minimize work and to offer increased water and rest to avoid heat-related stress that could endanger the animals.

“Forcing animals to work in this high heat, coupled with the urban environmental stress is unconscionable and cruel, especially when there is an objective scientific-based source that provides these warnings,” said Charleston Animal Society President and CEO Joe Elmore.


The heat stress also relates to our companion animals like dogs and cats. Keep animals indoors and limit outdoor activities during this round of heat. People are urged to leave pets at home and not take them outside to the beach or other events. Even swimming, a dog can overheat.

“Don’t leave pets in cars – even for a quick run into a store – it is just too dangerous,” said Elmore.  “Please don’t take them to the beach or park when temperatures are this high.  Instead, take them in the early morning hours before 8:00 A.M.”

“Cracking a Window” DOES NOT WORK. Plain and simple, cracking the windows in a vehicle makes little to no difference to lessen the temperature within it. On a hot day, the temperature in your vehicle can exceed 120 degrees within 20 minutes, which can be fatal to your pet. If you see a pet in a locked car, call 911. When a pet is outdoors, he or she should always have access to water.

Pets should also have a shady place to escape the sun if outside and they should never linger on hot asphalt during periods of extreme heat. This can cause an animal to heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn.