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Animal Care Services
Published on Monday, August 26, 2019

City Departments Remind Community of Safety Practices during the Heat Advisory

CONTACT: Michelle Vigil, (210) 207-8172  


SAN ANTONIO (August 26, 2019) - City departments are reminding the community that San Antonio continues to be in a Level II heat advisory.  A Level II heat advisory is when the heat index is expected to be equal to or higher than 108 degrees Fahrenheit or the temperature reaches 103 degrees or higher.


When temperatures rise to potentially dangerous levels, it is important to stay inside an air-conditioned space whenever possible. Shelters and centers are open to the public as cooling centers. Their hours are adjusted based on demand. Here is a map of their locations:


“As the heat and humidity forecast for today and later this week continues to be high, it is important for the community to keep in mind that excessive heat can pose a health threat” says Jennifer Herriott, Interim Metro Health Director.  Adults over 65, children under 4, and people with existing problems such as heart disease, and those without access to air conditioning are at highest risk.  Also, with most schools starting this week, we ask school officials, parents and students to be mindful of the high temperatures and limit prolonged outdoor activity.  Rest and rehydration is encouraged during outside activities.”


Drinking plenty of water and protecting oneself from the sun are critical precautions when dealing with a Level II heat advisory. Additionally, people should check on their neighbors, especially those at highest risk, to ensure access to heat relief and hydration.


Sunstroke, heat cramps and heat exhaustion are possible health effects resulting from this heat level. Heat stroke is likely with prolonged exposure. 


Warning signs of heat stroke include: red, hot, and moist or dry skin, no sweating, a strong rapid pulse or a slow weak pulse, nausea, confusion or acting strangely. If a child exhibits any of these signs, cool the child rapidly with cool water (not an ice bath) and call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.


Never leave children or pets alone in vehicles. If you see a child or pet locked in a hot car or in the back of a truck, take action immediately. Jot down the car’s description (including a license plate number).  Call the Police Department immediately.  If regarding a pet, call Animal Care Services at 311. Per city ordinance, both Police and Animal Care Officers have the right to break a car’s window if a child or animal is endangered inside a vehicle.  Follow these tips for pet safety during the heat advisory:

  • Shade is not just a good idea for outdoor pets. It’s the law. As are access to fresh water and shelter beyond the all-day available shade. Chain tethers are not allowed.
  • Pets most at risk from overheating include: young, elderly or overweight pets, those with a short muzzle or those with thick or dark colored coats.
  • It is illegal for dogs to ride unsecured in the back of trucks and these pets face the same heat stroke risks as pets locked in cars in addition to the threat of burned paws and accidental falls in transport.
  • Symptoms of heat stress include excessive thirst, heavy panting, glazed eyes, vomiting, restlessness, lethargy, fever, dizziness, a rapid heartbeat, profuse drooling or salivating and unconsciousness.
  • If an animal does show signs of heat stress, gradually lower their body temperature and get them to a vet immediately.
  • Mind your pets around water--most pets are not natural swimmers and any pet can easily tire and drown.


Metro Health’s heat plan follows the national weather service levels. The format resembles a countdown, with Level IV representing a normal/routine condition and Level I representing a maximum readiness/excessive heat warning. The heat plan provides information on how individuals can prepare for, prevent, recognize, and cope with heat-related health problems. Click here to access a summary of the heat plan.


Community members can contact the National Weather Service for the most current weather conditions at visit for current hourly weather. Stay tuned for further notices.