Heat Stress Deaths Rising Along with Summer Temperatures at Auctions 7/19/21

Monday, July 19, 2021 - 12:53
Investigation Category: 

It’s the time of year when most people are enjoying a summer full of fun, sun, and relaxation, but the hottest months can be anything but relaxing for Animals’ Angels investigators as they travel to auctions across the US and witness the devastating impact the scorching temperatures have on the animals they are dedicated to protecting.

“Unbelievably, many auctions fail to provide the animals they sell with any access to water, even when temperatures climb into the triple digits,” said Animals’ Angels Founder Sonja Meadows. “Our investigators know from experience that as the temperatures rise, the death toll for these poor animals will rise, too.”

The Animals’ Angels team was given a sad reminder of this fact when they recently investigated three Pennsylvania auctions where temperatures had soared to 102° F. Investigators were horrified to find dozens of dead cows, sheep, goats, pigs, and calves. Some of the dead animals had even been piled into a pen with live animals who were thus forced to look at their dead pen mates.

Where’s the Water?

Animals’ Angels investigators always make sure to carry gallons of water and buckets with them when they travel to any location for an investigation. They’ve learned over the years that they may be called on to provide fresh water to helpless animals who have been denied the most basic requirement of life by the people entrusted with their care.

But while the Animals’ Angels team is committed to providing relief to dehydrated and heat stressed animals whenever possible, we know we can’t help all the animals in need, especially at the larger auctions, which is why we try to convince auction management to invest in the installation of basic water systems.

Unfortunately, most auctions refuse to make any changes even though there are several low-cost options available. The suffering and death of innocent animals isn’t enough to convince them to install a simple water system constructed out of basic water hoses, connectors, and plastic water troughs.

Putting Heat on the Auctions

The refusal of auctions to provide water to the animals in their care, especially during the hot summer months, is unacceptable. Infuriated and frustrated by this ongoing and senseless act of neglect, Animals’ Angels has only one option: to increase pressure and demand change.

Going forward, we will carry out a series of investigations with the intent to document the suffering of animals from heat stress at auctions where the temperatures have risen into triple digits. We will identify the worst culprits and inform law enforcement when we find an animal dying without help or proper care.

Once we expose the auctions’ abuses, they will have to answer to law enforcement and the public for their actions. We’re confident we can convince the management at most auctions that it would be easier to simply invest in a low-cost water system rather than to deal with ongoing complaints and legal charges. If we succeed, we believe these long overdue changes will save the lives of many animals in the hot months ahead.