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      Protecting your pets from the summer heat

      As the weather gets warmer, Florence County animal control officers want to remind you your pets need more care.

      They say some animals are left in the heat with no water and in many cases they die from heat exhaustion.

      Herbie Christmas is the director of Florence County Environmental Services, which includes animal control.

      He says a dog was neglected by its owner two weeks ago.

      The dog was left outside without water and a halter used to contain the puppy grew into its skin.

      "Just imagine as a if you were to take a child and put a rubber band around it's neck and allow the child to grow up and that rubber band just physically grows into the child's neck and flesh. That's the equivalency of what we have here. Across the board this was just a bad case of owner neglect and animal cruelty," said Christmas.

      The dog has been treated by a veterinarian and is doing fine. He has been placed in a rescue home and is expected to be adopted to a family in a matter of days.

      The dog's owner, Walter Washington, was found guilty of animal cruelty and fined $565.

      Christmas says last summer, they investigated about 10 to 15 cases of animal neglect a day. In a few of the cases, the dogs actually died because they were left in the heat with no water.

      Christmas said, "That's two that we know of. I can't imagine the number of animals that perished last summer that went unreported."

      He reminds pet owners that outdoor pets need fresh water at least twice a day and shade to keep cool.

      Christmas says you also need to make sure your pet's water is also in the shade so it stays as cool as possible.

      "A lot of people's going, 'It's just a dog, it's just a cat or horse' or whatever the case may be. They don't take into consideration it's a living creature," said Christmas.