FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Fayetteville Animal Services and the Department of Parks, Natural Resources and Cultural Affairs are reminding city residents to keep their pets safe this summer.

Aside from the IAMS Dog Park and Lake Wilson Park – the City’s two designated off-leash areas – all other City parks require dogs to be on a leash at all times.

Leashes prevent dogs from chasing other animals or people, and from getting lost. They also make it more difficult for pets to get loose and run off if scared by a loud or strange noise.

“It’s also a good time to stock up on pet-waste bags,” said Justine Lentz, Animal Services superintendent. “Not only is it good manners to clean up after your pet, but it also helps protect our public safety – and required by City ordinance [5002]. Pet waste can carry bacteria and parasites transmitted through soil and stormwater. There are pet-waste stations available at most City parks.”

The summer heat also provides danger to your animals, especially if you leave them in a car. According to the press release, if the outdoor temperature exceeds 70 degrees, an Animal Services officer will be dispatched to check on the welfare of animals left in a vehicle. If the internal temperature of the vehicle measures more than 100 degrees, the officer will remove the pet from the vehicle and issue a citation to the driver.

Hot pavements can also cause harm to pets while walking. If you like to walk your pets, the release says to check the pavement temperature by pressing the back of your hand to the surface for 10 seconds. If it becomes too hot for you, then it is too hot for your pet and may burn their pads.

Animal Services offers $20 microchipping whenever the shelter is open with no appointment necessary. Microchipping your pet is a fail-safe way to ensure your pet can be identified as it can’t fall off or get lost like a collar or tag. According to City Ord. 5466, Fayetteville residents must microchip their cats or dogs and register the number with Animal Services.

To update your pet’s microchip information, please contact Animals Services at 479-444-3456. The office and Lib Horn Animal Shelter (1640 S. Armstrong Ave.) is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To learn more, visit www.fayetteville-ar.gov/animals