Many pet owners don’t seem to learn.
That’s why the BC SPCA has launched a campaign to combat some people’s practice of leaving pets in parked vehicles on hot days, despite many public warnings over many years.
The SPCA crusade is called #NoHotPets and it urges owners to keep their pets at home, outlines the dangers to dogs and other pets in hot cars, provides steps to take for anyone who sees an animal in distress and provides free decals to spread the word.
“Every year our constables receive hundreds of calls to rescue dogs in distress in hot vehicles,” said Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA, in a press release. “Sadly, some dogs have already died by the time we are called.
“It is so tragic because it is a completely preventable death.
“Even on a cloudy day, parked in the shade with the windows rolled down, a vehicle can reach temperatures that put animals in peril in just 10 minutes. Dogs can’t release heat from their bodies in the same way that humans can — they can only dissipate heat by panting and through the pads of their paws — so their internal temperatures reach dangerous levels very quickly.”
She added even if the air conditioning is left on, there’s no guarantee the pet is safe because AC systems “have been known to break down, with tragic results.”
The BC SPCA advises people who spot an animal in a hot car to:
• Note the licence plate, vehicle colour, make and model, and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately.
• If the animal is in distress, call the police, RCMP, local animal control agency or the BC SPCA call centre at 1-855-622-7722 as soon as possible. The call centre is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Emergencies outside of those hours should be reported to the local police department or RCMP.
Chortyk also had some advice on what not to do.
“Members of the public should not attempt to break a window to free a pet themselves. Not only can this be dangerous for the animals if they are struck by glass, but it is also illegal and puts the Good Samaritan on the wrong side of the law,” said Chortyk, who encouraged the public to keep the call centre number in their phones for easy access in an emergency.
• To learn more or to order a #NoHotPets decal, go to spca.bc.ca/nohotpets.
SOURCE: BC SPCA