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BC SPCA reminder not to leave pets in cars on hot days

Last Updated Jun 23, 2021 at 11:49 am PDT

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BC SPCA says a pet can sometimes overheat in a car in a matter of minutes

Take shorter walks with your dog in cooler morning or evening hours and ensure they have lots of water

If you see a dog or other pet left in a hot car, you can report it by calling SPCA, police, or animal control

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The hot weather is not expected to leave the Lower Mainland anytime soon, and the BC SPCA is asking pet owners to be mindful of how the heat can impact dogs and other animals.

“Anything that humans wouldn’t want to be exposed to during the heat, that goes doubly and triply for animals because with dogs, they can’t release heat from their body. They don’t have sweat glands in the same way as people have,” Lori Chortyk with the SPCA explained.

Her organization responds to hundreds of calls about dogs in distress. She’s reminding everyone not to leave their pet in a car, even if they will only be gone for a few minutes.

“Sometimes that’s all it takes to really cause a lot of danger to your pet. Unfortunately, every year, we do respond to calls where pets have died,” she said.

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Chortyk recommends taking shorter walks with your dog in the cooler morning or evening hours. It’s best not to take long runs in the middle of the afternoon. You should also make sure your pets have plenty of water.

If you do see a dog left in a car on a hot day and the animal is not in distress, Chortyk recommends you note the car’s licence plate and take it to nearby stores to see if the car owner can be paged to return to the vehicle. However, if the animal needs urgent help, you should call for help right away.

“If people do see animals in distress — those would be symptoms like exaggerated panting, salivating, convulsions, vomiting — we urge them to either call the BC SPCA call centre, RCMP, police, or animal control agency so that we can get someone out there as soon as possible to help that animal,” she explained.

To report an animal in distress, you can call the BC SPCA Provincial Call Centre: 1-855-622-7722.

With files from Tim James