Charleston animal shelter opens early to beat the heat

Local News

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – The Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association began its day earlier than normal.

Shelter workers were up before dawn to handle daily procedures like feeding the animals, cleaning the kennels, and taking the dogs outside.

The reason for this is to beat the heat. Under an excessive heat warning, the heat index ranging from 105 to 110 degrees. Employees said the dogs and cats cannot be exposed to these conditions.

KCHA Kennel Manager, Robert Wagner said, “Animals don’t sweat like people do so they pant. If they have fresh water, the air moves across their tongue and ventilates their lungs, so they really have a lot of trouble handling the heat.”

The pavement where they play can get so hot and burn their paws, so employees let the dogs out early before sunrise so they could get their exercise in.

Dogs’ fur also acts as an insulator and dogs with darker fur tend to overheat quicker.

Julie Hypes, a KCHA Animal Heaviorist said, “a lot of the times you’ll notice them get lethargic, just get really tired, sometimes they even get cranky too, so we have to watch that. That’s why we’re starting so early today because we want to get these guys out of the heat.”

The shelter is at maximum capacity currently which makes things crammed and stuffy even in an air-conditioned facility.

This weekend KCHA is having an adoption special: all cats for $10 and all dogs 50% off.

If you’re unable to adopt, the shelter is always needing donations of dog/cat/puppy/kitty chow, liquid laundry detergent, paper towels, bleach, blankets, and toys.

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