It shouldn’t need to be a reminder, but clearly dog owners in Langley and all across B.C. aren’t getting the message to leave their four-legged friends at home when it’s hot.
By July 10, there had been 18 times police have had to deal with a dog in distress, trapped inside a hot vehicle, said Langley RCMP Cpl. Holly Marks.
“We have had 18, three extreme cases, and we don’t want to see anymore,” said Marks.
Another alarming trend is toddlers being left in hot vehicles, resulting in two deaths in Canada this month. In neighbouring Abbotsford, a recent case saw a toddler and 12-year-old boy asleep in a hot car, with the windows rolled up while the parent shopped at a grocery store. Police got involved there.
Marks is offering suggestions for people who come upon a dog in a hot vehicle:
First, check to see if there is a way it can be offered water, or spray down the car with cold water, put a blanket over the window to provide some shade and if you feel you are safe to do so, try to have the vehicle owner paged if at a store. But if there is no way of finding the owner fast, call 911.
“We don’t want to encourage people to break windows,” Marks said. “Wait for police to arrive and update the 911 dispatchers on the condition of the dog.”
Stay by the vehicle until police arrive if you can.
The SPCA, and in Langley, the Patti Dale Animal Shelter, do not handle these situations. They will only refer you to your local police.
The interior of a car can quickly heat up to 45 degrees Celsius (110 F). Even if a vehicle is parked in the shade, the sun moves, and that shade can quickly turn to sun. Without a breeze, on really hot days, shade provides little comfort.
Signs of heatstroke in pets:
• exaggerated panting (or the sudden stopping of panting);
• rapid or erratic pulse;
• weakness and muscle tremours;
• lack of coordination;
• convulsions or vomiting;