Dog owners taking unhealthy air alerts very seriously

ByLyanne Melendez via KGO logo
Saturday, November 17, 2018
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With such bad air quality, dog owners are taking the warnings seriously and keeping their pups indoors.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Dog owners have taken the unhealthy air quality warning seriously. Many decided to keep their pets indoors or limit their walks.

Fort Funston, a national park in San Francisco is usually packed with dogs.

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But because of the unhealthy air, one dog walker limited the time spent out with her animals.

"I didn't pass any dog walkers today but we must have passed maybe two people, the beach was like our own private beach it was awesome," said Stephanie Zeh of Doggy Adventures.

At Dolores Park, we ran into Harriet, a small, older dog that was coughing. Her owner told us conditions out here have not been good for the dog.

"I don't take them out for as long as I usually do and because she's been coughing so much, I have to hold her a lot," said Curtis Opp, Harriet's owner.

On Instagram, a woman posted a picture of her dog with a small bandana covering its face which doesn't do much good. Veterinarians say masks aren't really effective either.

RELATED: Accuweather Forecast: 8th consecutive day of unhealthy air

" They probably wouldn't tolerate them being fitted anyway," explained Dr. Shari O'Neill, Chief Shelter Veterinarian with the San Francisco Animal Care and Control who just returned from Chico where she and other vets were treating animals. She says it's not a bad idea to wipe down your dogs after a walk, because some dogs tend to lick themselves.

"With those cases where there is a lot of particulate matter on the coat, you do want to gently wipe it away and baby wipes would work just fine for that," said Dr. O'Neill.

Last night she brought home a senior dog after its owner, an elderly woman who lost her home, could no longer care for her. The dog's name is Gizmo.

" I just happen to be coming back this way and gave her a lift back to San Francisco and our partners at Muttville are going to continue with her care," she added.

Dr. O'Neill volunteers with the California Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps. For more information on how to help them go to

If you want to adopt Gizmo you can reach Muttville at 415-272-4172.