Cooling Center for Pets at Oregon Humane Society

I've got a cooling collar!

People and pets can beat the heat by coming to the Oregon Humane Society today and through the weekend. OHS is now offering its lobby as a cooling center for individuals and animals who are suffering from Portland’s heat wave.

The OHS cooling center will be open today, Friday, August 13, at 1 pm and remain open until  9 pm. The cooling center will also be open this weekend during normal shelter hours (10 am to 9 pm on Saturday; 10 am to 7 pm on Sunday). If the heat wave persists, the cooling center will remain open during the week. Pets coming to the cooling center must be accompanied by their owners at all times – no pet drop-offs are allowed.

“There are few, if any, cooling centers where people can bring their pets,” said OHS Executive Director Sharon Harmon.  Adults, children and well-behaved pets are invited to the cooling center, located in the OHS Animal Medical Learning Center (AMLC) lobby, which is located a few feet east of the main OHS shelter lobby entrance. The public is encouraged to bring crates for animals accustomed to using them.

OHS is located at 1067 NE Columbia Blvd, Portland, OR, 97211, (503) 285-7722; OHS is a nonprofit organization and receives no tax dollars to support its adoption, education and law enforcement programs.

Tips to keep your pet cool during the heat:

*keep water bowls full of cool, fresh water
*provide shaded areas for pet to rest in
*use a misting hose to provide a cool area for a pet while outside
*utilize a “kiddy pool” for dogs to splash and play in
*exercise in the cool of the morning or at dusk – not during heat of the day
*do not leave pets unattended outside when it gets too hot – bring pets inside
*leave your pet at home when you are running errands (see below)

Cars:   The Oregon Humane Society encourages you to leave your pet home and inside when you dash to the store or the mall.  The inside of a car heats up very quickly.  On an 85-degree day, a car’s interior temperature can climb to 120 degrees in 20 minutes, even with the windows slightly open. Another concern is dogs riding on uncovered pickup beds.  The sun heats up the metal truck bed and can burn your pet’s pads.  Have Fido ride in the cab with you, put him in a secure crate, or please leave him at home and inside a cool place.

Sun: If you leave your pet out in the yard, provide plenty of shade and water. Light colored pets may get sunburned–check with your veterinarian before applying sun  block to your dog or cat’s nose. Walk time for your dog should be in the morning or at dusk when the temperature drops–avoid strenuous play time outside in the heat of the day.

Best Place for the Heat of the Day: The best place for your pet to be during the heat of the day is inside with you–especially if you have an air conditioner or fan.

Symptoms of heatstroke could include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, vomiting, and lack of coordination. Contact your veterinarian. If your animal is overcome by heat exhaustion, immediately immerse or spray the animal with cool running water (not cold water as that could cause shock) and continue until body temperature lowers.  Give your pet water to drink and consult your veterinarian right away to determine if additional treatment is needed.

If you suspect an emergency situation has developed and and you see someone else’s animal in immediate danger from the heat, first consult the owner if possible and then contact your local police department.

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The Oregon Humane Society is the Northwest’s oldest and largest humane society. OHS receives little or no funding from national humane groups (such as the ASPCA or the Humane Society of the United States), and relies entirely on private donations to support its adoption, education, and animal cruelty investigation programs. Visit for more information.

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