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Summer heat requires attention from pet owners

A dog sits inside an enclosed vehicle at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, July 21, 2014. Keeping pets trapped in such a way can prove fatal in the summer heat.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sam Fogleman/Released)

A dog sits inside an enclosed vehicle at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, July 21, 2014. Keeping pets trapped in such a way can prove fatal in the summer heat.(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sam Fogleman/Released)

Brittani Gadway, 92nd Force Support Squadron animal caretaker, brushes and bathes Sophie, a client at Tanker Tails Kennel at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, July 18, 2014. Helping pets maintain proper hygiene helps to rid them of dead tissue and hair that could cause duress in summer heat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sam Fogleman/Released)

Brittani Gadway, 92nd Force Support Squadron animal caretaker, brushes and bathes Sophie, a client at Tanker Tails Kennel at Fairchild Air Force Base, Washington, July 18, 2014. Helping pets maintain proper hygiene helps to rid them of dead tissue and hair that could cause duress in summer heat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Sam Fogleman/Released)

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- The dangers posed by high temperatures inside of closed vehicles are all too real, for humans and their furry friends, alike. Possible fatality or serious injury demands that strict attention be paid to keeping pets safe when temperatures get too warm.

During the peak summer months at Fairchild, high temperatures are regularly forecasted above 90 degrees. Therefore, heat accumulated in parked vehicles with no air conditioning can become too intense for pets.

The 92nd Security Forces Squadron here has specific guidelines designed to protect pets in such circumstances. Security Forces' on-base protocol stipulates that: From May 1 to Oct. 1, pets will not be left unattended in a motor vehicle for any amount of time. The pet policy changes from Oct. 2 to April 30, when pets may be left unattended in a motor vehicle for a period not to exceed 15 minutes.

"Always maintain control of your pets and don't let them roam or run freely," said Army Sgt. Benjamin Lowry, the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Public Health Command District, Fairchild Branch, NCO in charge. "Provide a quality, nutritious diet, with an adequate water supply available, and protection or shelter from environmental conditions."

There are many resources on base for staying informed about keeping pets healthy.

"We definitely like to play a part in helping to inform people about pet safety, especially this time of year," said Laura Zachary, the Tanker Tails Kennel manager. "Getting knowledge out is a big piece of the puzzle."

The kennel provides hygienic and shelter options for those with the need to keep their pets away from the summer heat when it becomes excessive.

For more information on how to keep your pet cool during the summer heat, call Tanker Tails at (509) 247-4699.