With Memorial Day kicking off the unofficial start to summer, McKamey officers want to remind dog owners to care for their animals in the heat. Owners who do not could go to court or lose their pets.

Channel 3 rode along for several animal welfare checks on Monday.

Officers tell us that this time of year, their days are full with responding to dogs being neglected outside. 

"We see a little bit of everything, from dogs in hot cars, to dogs outside with no shelter, no food, no water," said Leslie Stokes, McKamey Animal Service Officer.

Once summertime rolls around, her days get busy, constantly responding to animals being neglected in the heat.

"We can't give out any information of who called. But we do explain to them what we got a call about and why we're there," Stokes explained.

One owner was previously cited after officers found his 10 dogs tied up without shelter or water. He was ordered to build a shelter before his upcoming court date. Stokes checked up on his progress on Monday.

Chattanooga city ordinance requires owners to provide their dogs with shelter and water 24/7.

"We issue, usually, a warning at first. Give them time to fix the problem. And then we go back out and recheck," she said.

While on the road, someone called about a dog left in a hot car for nearly an hour. But before we could get there, the owners left the store.

Stokes hopes to educate owners so they won't become her next call.

"I love animals," she said, "so I'll do anything to help animals out."

If you notice an animal that's in need of help, callers can remain anonymous.

Call Chattanooga Police, 911, or McKamey: Animal Services: (423) 305-6500 (press 1) or Animal Services (after hours): (423) 305-6511 (press 1).