What to do if you see a pet in a hot car in Okanagan, Kamloops | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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What to do if you see a pet in a hot car in Okanagan, Kamloops

The BC SPCA reminds residents to keep pets out of hot cars during the summer to avoid fatality or injury to animals.

As temperatures rise so do summer activities with a furry companion, but many pets are being left unattended in cars swarming in heat.

“We hear it all the time, ‘I was just running into the store, I was only gone a few minutes’ but what many people don’t understand is that even a few minutes can have fatal effects for an animal,” Eileen Drever of BC SPCA said in a media release issued today, July 4. “Not to mention, even the shortest trips can easily turn into a half an hour or more in the store while your pet suffers in the heat.”

Temperatures are forecast to reach highs in the upper 30s the Okanagan, and around 40 Celsius in Kamloops, over the next week.

“You might think your pet wants the company of joining you on your errands. Unless you know for sure you can bring them with you into the stores you plan to visit, we encourage you to leave pets at home where the temperature is more controlled, there’s more space and they have easy access to fresh water," Drever said. "Unless you know for sure you can bring them with you into the stores you plan to visit, we encourage you to leave pets at home." 

So far this year, the BC SPCA has already received 257 calls about animals being left in vehicles on hot days with the expectation the number will rise as the summer months continue.

Although an animal may be in need of assistance, entering a car to remove the animal is illegal and dangerous for the human and animal alike.

“Only RCMP, local police and BC SPCA animal protection officers have the authority to enter a vehicle lawfully to help a pet in distress,” Drever said.

The SPCA has some recommendations of what to do if you see an animal in a potentially hot car:

  • Take note of the license plate, vehicle colour, make and model and connect with nearby businesses to have the animal owner paged to return to their vehicle immediately.
  • If the animal is showing signs of distress (exaggerated panting or no panting at all, salivating, an anxious or staring expression, muscle tremors or lack of coordination, convulsions, vomiting, collapse), call your local animal control agency, police department or RCMP, or the BC SPCA Animal Helpline at 1-855-622-7722 as soon as possible.
  • Remember to relay location information of the car including city and landmarks, especially if the vehicle is located in a busy parking lot, and listen to the instructions of the call takers.

The SPCA is also giving away free decals that say, No Pets in Hot Cars. Go here to sign up to get one in the mail.

For more pet safety information visit the BC SPCA’s website here.

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