Frontline RCMP officers may not have the time to respond to calls about dogs left in hot cars this summer.

With the return of sunshine and hot temperatures in the Okanagan and Kamloops, RCMP have issued a statement saying people should consider leaving their pets at home rather than leaving them unattended in a vehicle while they run errands.

“Our frontline officers are often stretched thin responding to, and investigating serious incidents, and may not be able to attend to these ‘hot dog’ reports as quickly as required,” Penticton RCMP spokesperson Const. Jame Grandy said in a media release issued today, June 29.

READ MORE: 120 neglected cats, 3 dogs seized from trailer in northern B.C.

“If you think you’ll have to be in and out of your vehicle often, your dog may feel much better staying home with water and shade.”

Even a short time in a hot car can be deadly for dogs due to heat exhaustion, according to the B.C. SPCA. Humans sweat to cool off but dogs don’t and their body temperatures rise quickly.

If you seen a dog in distress in a parked vehicle, the SPCA recommends noting the license plate, colour, make and model and try to find the owner at surrounding businesses. It suggests waiting around at the vehicle if the dog isn’t showing signs of distress until the owner returns.

Whatever you do, don’t break a window because only RCMP officers and SPCA constables have the authority to do that. Plus you could hurt yourself or the dog.

If the dog is in distress, the society recommends you call a local animal control agency or the SPCA call centre at 1-855-622-7722. Ironically it also suggests you call local police.

For more information and helping Fido keep cool this summer check out this SPCA web page.

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