As temperatures continue to rise, the BC SPCA is reminding individuals to avoid leaving their pets in hot cars.
“The BC SPCA received hundreds of calls to rescue pets from hot vehicles in 2018 and is preparing for another busy summer” reads a statement.
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Many might think that a few minutes in the vehicle won’t be a big deal, but for a dog, “minutes is all it takes for them to feel the life-threatening effects of a hot car”.
Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to leaving pets in a hot car:
- Dogs can’t release heat by sweating
- It gets incredibly warm in the vehicle – and your dogs definitely feel it
- Leaving the A/C on with the dog in the car is still a bad idea
So what does a heat stroke look like? Signs include:
- Exaggerated panting (or the sudden stopping of panting)
- Rapid or erratic pulse
- Anxious or staring expression
- Weakness and muscle tremors
- Lack of coordination
- Convulsions or vomiting
If you see any animal that might be experiencing a heat stroke, and you can safely and lawfully move the animal out of the vehicle, do the following:
- Move the animal to a cool, shady place.
- Wet the animal with cool water. Do not apply ice as this will constrict blood flow and discourage cooling.
- Fan the animal to promote evaporation. This cools the blood, helping to reduce the animal’s core temperature.
- Allow the animal to drink some cool water (or to lick ice cream if no water is available).
- Take the dog to a veterinarian as soon as possible for further treatment.
Additionally, for anyone who sees an animal inside a hot car and the windows are closed, you’re strongly recommended to not break the glass windows. Only RCMP, local police, and BC SPCA Special Constables have the authority to enter a vehicle lawfully to help a pet in distress.
Not to mention, the broken glass can harm both yourself and the pet.
If you do see an animal in distress in a parked vehicle:
- Note the license 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 your local animal control agency, police, RCMP or the BC SPCA hotline at 1-855-622-7722 as soon as possible. The call centre is open seven days a week, Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, and Saturdays and Sunday between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Emergencies outside of those hours should be reported to your local police department or RCMP.
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