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Fayetteville animal shelter rescues 13 dogs stuck in hot car, asking for fosters

Fayetteville Animal Services responded to a call reporting 13 dogs kept in a midsize SUV in the heat.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — On May 8, the Fayetteville Animal Services rescue got a call about 13 dogs being kept in a midsize SUV in unseasonably hot temperatures. 

According to Justine Lentz, who serves as the animal services superintendent for the city, the person keeping the dogs didn't want to surrender the dogs at first but then was willing to sign them all over to the shelter to be cared for.

"Obviously, conditions like that are just not healthy, safe, or sanitary for humans or dogs to be living in such a small confined space," Lentz said.

Credit: Fayetteville Animal Services

A social media post from FAS had originally counted the total as 12 dogs, only to realize there was actually 13 dogs in total inside the hot vehicle. Lentz said FAS has been getting the dogs vaccinated, dewormed, and getting to know their personalities in hopes to find them homes. The rescue's biggest concern, Lentz says, is space.

"We're at a space crisis right now and we do not euthanize for space here, we don't want to be put in that situation."

The solution? Temporary fostering— which is what these 13 dogs are in need of after they receive care (and time to decompress). Fayetteville Animal Services says they provide fosters with food and vet supplies along with helping to find their foster dogs permanent homes.

While the goal of FAS is to make sure animals are safe, it's not meant to be animals' permanent home. "It's stressful for everybody, right? An animal shelter is here as a safety net, but it's not a home. And this environment is chaotic. It's loud. It's hard for any dog or cat to come in here," Lentz said. "And then there's still other people out in our community that also need help. And that's why we have to pull together, we have to ask our community for support for fosters.. or adopters!"

If you're interested in fostering but still have lingering questions, the Fayetteville Animal Shelter staff will answer them.

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