EL PASO, Texas – As the first 100 degree weather of the year approaches, El Paso Animal Services is reminding the community to keep their pets cool.

Animal Services education coordinator Jessica Navarro said it’s during these times that pets suffer from heatstroke.

She said some symptoms you can look for are gasping and excessive drooling.

She encourages people to pay attention not only to your pet, but also to the animals in your neighborhood.

Navarro said if you see an animal that may be suffering from heatstroke or that doesn’t have proper shade or water, you can call 311 for help.

She recommends taking your pets for walks when it’s not too hot outside.

She said a good indicator of whether it’s too hot to walk your pet is to put the back of your hand on the floor, and if you can stay there for 7 seconds, that’s usually fine for your pet too.

Navarro reminds people not to leave their pets in the car, even with a cracked window.

According to the Las Cruces Police Department, research shows the interior temperature of a closed vehicle can rise at least 19 degrees Fahrenheit after just 10 minutes in the sun, 34 degrees after 30 minutes, and 45 to 50 degrees in about one hour.

Navarro said the shelter is also affected during this time due to overcapacity.

“Unfortunately none of our kennels are empty, most kennels are lined, so obviously if there are 3 in a kennel it will be much warmer in that kennel than if we could have one animal per kennel, c That’s why we were asking for foster homes and volunteers to direct us,” Navarro said.

If you want to volunteer or host family, you can visit this website.