County Fair Animals

By: Autria Godfrey
By: Autria Godfrey

August 1, 2006

The 25th Annual Albemarle County Fair kicked off on Monday, and it is all in the midst of record temperatures in our area. Organizers of the Albemarle County Fair took some extra precautions for this when it comes to the stars of the petting zoo.

They've always said, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, well maybe he should. With four tents housing horses, rabbits, chickens, and goats, organizers of the fair have been busy to keep the animals cool and comfortable.

"There's plenty of fresh water, cool water at all times and the shade. Obviously we have the tents on them to keep the shade, to keep them out of the sun and then there are fans all around--big fans that are blowing," veterinarian Karen Degiogis said.

With the heat index topping triple digits, animal supervisors kept a veterinarian around checking in on the animals throughout the day to look for signs of heat exhaustion.

"They get depressed, so they get kind of lethargic and depressed and they start to breathe really heavily," Degiogis continued.

In addition to the health concerns, some of the animals also tend to get a little testy as the mercury rises.

"When you're hot, you're overheated, you're tired, you're sweating, you get a little short with your buddies," horse breeder Robert Seddon said.

Despite one animal succumbing to the heat Monday and having to be taken home for treatment, this heavy heat wave has had little effect on our furry friends, which caretakers say isn't a surprise.

"These guys are better off in this tent than they are in a pasture, believe me," Seddon continued.

Animal supervisors said it is thanks to the local fire department that the water is being brought in.

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