AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A dog was discovered dead in Austintown on Tuesday after a family member accidentally left it outside.
The Mahoning County Dog Warden and humane agents were called to a home on Maplecrest Drive around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.
The pug was forgotten outside after it had been let out to go to the bathroom.
The temperature reached 80 degrees on Tuesday, and the dog was in an area without shade. A neighbor stopped by to give it water around 10 a.m.
Another neighbor who found the pug dead called authorities. The owners were at work at the time the dog was discovered but when they learned the dog had died, they were extremely distraught.
Mahoning County Deputy Dog Warden Rick Tunison said the owner thought another family member let the dog back inside. Tunison called the death a tragic accident.
“Someone put the dog out to go to the bathroom and then, you know, people on different schedules…Everyone leaves the house and each other, one thought someone brought the dog in,” he said.
The temperatures will continue to climb this week so if you leave your dog outside for the day, you need to take extra precautions.
“We always tell you to make sure you have shade. Something as simple as a tarp or a dog house to provide protection from the sun and big jugs of water. I mean, that is a main thing,” Tunison said.
Tunison said dogs don’t have the same method of cooling down as people, and the fur can make it hotter for an animal.
“Dogs don’t really sweat a whole lot to reduce body temperature,” he said. “The only way they can relieve heat is by panting, so if they’re out in the sun for anywhere over two to three hours, you run the risk of the dog dying from exposure to the heat.”
He said the same applies if you’re taking your dog for a walk. It’s important to always bring water.
Animal Charity will be providing a free autopsy on the animal, because they don’t believe heat or lack of water were causes for the dog’s death.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this story indicated that Angels for Animals was providing a free autopsy on the dog. Animal Charity is completing the autopsy. WYTV regrets the error.