Keep them safe this summer.

1. Make sure your dog’s rabies vaccination is up-to-date – summer is peak season for rabies in Pennsylvania, warm weather and outdoor activities increase the chance of an encounter with rabid wildlife.

2. Have a current Pennsylvania dog license on your pet – if your dog would get lost, an up to date license will allow dog wardens or police to return your dog home and avoid a costly trip to the shelter.

3. Reduce opportunities for dog bites – summer months tend to bring increased reports of dog bites and attacks due to increased outdoor activity. Keep your dog under reasonable control and respect their space. Don’t let your dog be at risk of harming others or being designated as one of Pennsylvania’s dangerous dogs.

4. Do your part to keep parks clean and reduce polluting the waterways – pick up and properly dispose of your pet’s waste.

5. Be alert for suspicious water conditions – common conditions such as nutrient rich water, calm/low-flowing water, shallow water, warm temperatures, and high sunlight exposure at state park lakes can create an environment to trigger or exacerbate algae bloom. Cyanobacteria blooms, often called blue-green algae, can result in serious illness or death for dogs. In general with any body of water, follow these rules of thumb: If it’s green, don’t go in! Discolored water could be a sign of harmful algae bloom. When in doubt, keep pets out! Don’t let your pet swim in, play, or drink discolored or scummy water.

6. Never leave your pet unattended – except when using a restroom or visiting a park building for a brief period of time. Especially, do not leave them unattended in a hot car – it only takes six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car.

Governor Tom Wolf signed House Bill 1216 to create the Hot Car Law. This law protects law enforcement or other public safety officials who remove a pet from an unattended hot car and believed to be in danger. The law does not protect citizens, so any person that see a pet in a car and believes they’ve been neglected or are in danger should immediately call local authorities.

Erica Rocchi Brusselars, Allegheny County Treasurer

Allegheny County Courthouse, Room 108, 436 Grant Street, Pittsburgh, PA  15219  |  PHONE: 412-350-4100