EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – With our excessive heat wave, temperatures are not the only thing on the rise. Evansville Police Department and Evansville Animal Care and Control both say they are receiving an increase in calls for heat-related incidents involving animals. This comes following the death of two dogs at a residence in Evansville, determined to be caused by heat exhaustion.

For Evansville police, the higher call volume has been related to animals being left in vehicles, according to Sergeant Anna Gray.

“You may think, oh I’m just going from point a to point b, and I won’t be gone long,” explains Sgt. Gray. “Well, if you get into an accident, or what if you get held up at a gas station longer than you thought? Something like that where you have to run in somewhere and leave your dog unattended in this heat and think, I don’t want to leave my vehicle running.”

With temperatures in the 90s, Sgt. Gray says even rolling down the window will not provide the cool air a dog, and humans, need. Whether it’s a longer than expected trip, or a hectic schedule, Todd Robertson with the Evansville Transportation and Services department says there are a number of reasons for neglect incidents that vary case by case.

“You’ve probably got a combination of things that go into some of these incidents, and sometimes they become unfortunate,” says Robertson.

Neglect cases cannot only be unfortunate, leading to the death of an animal, but it can become costly. As Sgt. Gray explains, residents or police officers who come across an animal in distress can take immediate action.

“We can break a window out,” says Sgt. Gray, “and the owner can be charged with neglect for that as well, which is a misdemeanor. So you’re going to have to pay for your own window to be fixed, and you’ll have to pay for a citation as well.”

The recent neglect cases have prompted the city of Evansville to send out a reminder to residents on the importance of checking on animals.

“It is extremely hot, and during this time,” says Robertson. “Take extra special, or pay extra special, attention to your animals. Make sure they have plenty of water, make sure they have plenty of shade, improvise or what have you. And if you can bring them in, then it would be great to bring them in.”

Robertson also suggests avoid walking your dog during the hottest times of the day, choosing the early morning or late evening hours. Sgt. Gray also suggests planning ahead by preparing multiple sources of water for animals in case of bowl spillage, as well as a frequent replacement in water as it warms or spills. Sgt. Gray also wants to remind residents that it is okay to ask for help if an individual cannot provide for their animal. She suggests reaching out to Animal Care and Control or a local animal shelter if you need assistance.