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After pet passes away, family shares story to raise awareness of heat stroke

Posted at 5:38 PM, Jun 14, 2024
  • A 6-year-old lab passed away after spending an hour at a Leon County dog park.
  • Local veterinarians say they see more dogs come in this time of year for heat stroke.
  • Watch the video to hear what to look for in dogs experiencing heat stroke.


Sharing their story to save others - as we head into some of the hottest days of the year.

I am finding out how people in this neighborhood are using what happened to their pet - to hopefully keep others protected.

6-year-old Bear was one of three beloved dogs a part of the Honeyman family and went to the dog park here at Beech Ridge Trail for about an hour the day before Memorial Day.

"It wasn't until I got home that the other two girls jumped out and he had a little trouble," Brandon Honeyman said. "He was the healthiest of them all."

That's when Brandon Honeyman realized something was wrong.

After water and fans were not helping him cool down, Brandon took him to the emergency vet.

"They couldn't save him," Honeyman said.

Bear passed away from heat stroke.

"Had he known, had I known it was that bad, we would've made an earlier call to the vet," Lindsey Honeyman said.

"The first thing that owners notice is excessive panting and a lot of times they will have really bright colored gums. They also get really lethargic," said Doctor Kim Kocel.

To learn more about the signs and symptoms, I visited two experts in our area.

One is Doctor Kim Kocel with Paws and Claws Veterinary Hospital.

She said it can happen fast.

"Dogs in as little as 20 minutes of not even rigorous exercise can overheat quickly," Kocel said.

Down the street at Bradfordville Animal Hospital, Doctor Margaret Hankley said they treat dogs for this often.

"We do typically see an increase in heat strokes this time of year," Hankley said.

She said time is of the essence.

"Bring them inside, get them in the air conditioning, get a fan on them, get some cool room temperature water on them to bring that body temperature down and immediately seek veterinary care," Hankley said.

Despite using a fan and cooling Bear down with water, he did not survive.

Brandon and Lindsey said they wish they would've gotten him to the vet sooner.

But the Honeyman's hope that sharing their story can remind others to keep an eye on the temperature and protect their pets.

"I don't want any dog to suffer that way and the owners to like we have," Honeyman said.

While we all love our vets, when it comes to heat stroke, you have to act fast.

That's why Doctor Hankley and Doctor Kocel said you should take your dog to the closest vet no matter where you are.