Park rangers warn pet owners to keep dogs off of hot trails

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(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Before you take man's best friend on a hike with you, make sure you remember how the heat could affect your furry companion.

Park officials are reminding Valley residents that it's against the law to bring a dog onto city park trails when it is 100 degrees or hotter outside. Signs are being posted at trailheads informing visitors the penalty is up to $2,500 and up to six months in jail.

A park ranger already had to help a hiker’s pet overwhelmed by high heat this week at the 40th Street trailhead.

“They were coming down, and you could tell that this hiker was worried,” says ranger Manuel Federico.  “[The dog] went into the bottom of the driver seat and sat there with its tongue out and it was in distress. After a while, it cooled off."

Federico warns pet owners that dogs can be affected by the heat well before the temperatures soar to 100 degrees.  He says he stops many hikers with dogs to inform them of how a day on the trails can harm them.

“Our job is to educate them and keep them safe and keep their dogs safe,” says Federico.  “We don’t want a dog dying on the trail.”

The Arizona Humane Society says if you cannot stand outside barefoot for more than seven seconds, then it is too hot for your dog.

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