“Public awareness is possibly the most effective tool we have to help promote the health and safety of pets in Washoe County,” said Barry Brode, Regional Animal Services manager. “Clear Channel Outdoor’s willingness to increase outreach through their billboards is a valuable addition to our efforts to protect through prevention.”
Messages from Regional Animal Services are now being displayed on three separate rotating billboards as part of a seven-week agreement between Clear Channel Outdoor and Regional Animal Services. Billboard locations are:
• West side of Vista Boulevard, 0.2 miles north of the I-80, facing south.
• Eastbound side of the I-80 near East McCarran Boulevard, facing east.
• East McCarran Boulevard, just north of Mill Street, facing south.
Animal Services’ messages are expected to be shown more than two million times between the three billboards during the seven week period.
An alarming increase in “Dog in Hot Vehicle” reports this summer compelled Washoe County Regional Animal Services to step up efforts to warn pet owners that temperatures inside a closed vehicle can easily rise to 20 degrees or warmer than outside temperatures. This could prove deadly to a pet.
“Our goal is to prevent this from happening and we appreciate Clear Channel Outdoors commitment to keeping this important message visible to the public,” Brode said.
Regional Animal Services held an awareness event in June identifying the dangers of leaving your animal in a hot vehicle. The demonstration was held after dispatchers received 68 high-priority calls in May for dogs left in hot cars, which was five times the number reported in May of 2011.
“When it gets to the point where an animal’s well-being is threatened, Animal Control Officers will take the necessary steps, as obligated by the law, to save an endangered animal by removing it from the vehicle. Even if they have to break a window to do it,” Brode said. “Our goal is to prevent this from happening by getting this important message out to the public now.”
The public is encouraged to report distressed animals locked in hot cars immediately by contacting Washoe County Regional Animal Services dispatch at 322-3647. The public should also keep in mind that the law allows designated responders to “use any force that is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances to remove from a motor vehicle a cat or dog that is allowed to remain in the motor vehicle in violation of subsection 1.”