The BC SPCA has launched a No Hot Pets campaign to remind people of the dangers of leaving pets in a hot vehicle after receiving hundreds of calls already this summer.
So far this summer, animal protection officers have responded to 642 calls to rescue animals in distress in hot cars, said Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA, in a news release.
“Every year there is at least one call where a pet has died before help can arrive,” Chortyk said. “It is heartbreaking, because it is a horrible way for a pet to die and it is devastating for their guardian.”
Chortyk says many people don’t realize just how quickly a situation can become dangerous for their pet.
“Dogs don’t have sweat glands like people do and can only release heat from their bodies by panting or through the pads of their paws,” says Chortyk. “It doesn’t take long, even if a vehicle is parked in the shade with windows partially open, for a pet to suffer severe heatstroke.”
As part of its No Hot Pets campaign, the BC SPCA is offering free car decals to help people raise awareness of the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars, as well as posters, flyers and other educational materials that animal lovers can distribute in their community.
“I think the most important thing people can do, besides making sure their pet is safe at home in hot weather, is to help spread the word to their family and friends about how deadly it can be to take pets on errands with you,” says Chortyk. “We know people love their pets and want to spend time with them, but if you are going out and will have to leave your pet in a hot car, even for a few minutes, please don’t do it. The consequence could be tragic.”
If you see an animal already in distress in a hot vehicle, contact your local police, RCMP, animal control agency or the BC SPCA call centre at 1-855-622-7722.
To sign up for your free No Hot Pets Decal visit spca.bc.ca/nohotpets.