With record high temperatures expected across the province, the BC SPCA and Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) is reminding pet guardians not to leave their pets in parked vehicles.
“We can’t stress strongly enough how dangerous it is to leave your pet in a hot car,” said Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA.
“Last year, the BC SPCA responded to more than 800 calls about animals in distress in hot cars. The temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with windows partially open, can rapidly reach a level that can seriously harm or even kill a pet.”
She noted that because dogs have no sweat glands, they can only cool themselves by panting and by releasing heat through their paws.
“Dogs cannot withstand high temperatures for long periods, particularly older pets and brachycephalic breeds such as pugs, bulldogs, Boston terriers and others with compressed faces.” Chortyk says SPCA officers are called out to “worst case” situations every summer, where a beloved pet is in critical distress or has died after being left in a hot car.
“It is a completely preventable tragedy for both the poor animal and their distraught guardian.”
The BC SPCA urges pet guardians to leave their animals at home when running errands on a hot day.
“If you will need to leave them in a parked vehicle, even for a few minutes, don’t take them. Your dog will be much happier – and safer – at home, with shade and plenty of fresh cool water,” Chortyk noted.
LAPS shared an acronym to emphaize the importance of caring for furry friends – P.E.T.S. stands for “Please Ensure Their Safety.”
If anyone does come across a dog in a hot vehicle, here’s what the Aldergrove-based shelter said people can do to help:
Collect – Record information about the vehicle (ex. Licence plate number, make, model, location.) Document information about the animal’s behaviour. Are they panting? Drooling? Lethargic?
Connect – Call the Langley Animal Protection Society right away at 604 857 5055. As a priority one call, an Animal Control Officer will be dispatched immediately.
If you are calling after hours, contact the Langley RCMP non-emergency line at 604 532-3200.
Canvas – Try to locate the vehicle owner by canvassing the area. Go into local businesses and ask if the vehicle owner can be paged.
The faster the owner is located, the faster the animal can be removed from the dangerous situation. If possible, have someone stay with the vehicle until an Animal Control Officer arrives.
More info can be found at www.lapsbc.ca.
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