There have been numerous stories on the TV news in regards to pets and children coming to harm due to being left inside vehicles under the hot summer sun.
Locally there have not been any reported issues in regards to children, however there have been complaints regarding animals (mainly dogs) being left in vehicles down town.
Just two weeks ago, Princeton RCMP issued this public reminder;
“Princeton RCMP would like to remind the general public about your responsibility as a pet owner during these hot summer days. It is a criminal code offence, Sec 446 (1) (b). Failure to exercise reasonable care, by leaving your pet unattended in your vehicle with windows rolled up. Your pet cannot speak for itself and advise you when it is in distress, it counts on you to do your utmost to ensure their safety and well being.”
Though the information is out there, people are still ignoring the warnings and are placing their pets in life threatening situations.
Even if you have your vehicle parked in the shade, with the windows down, the temperature inside the vehicle can rise high enough to cause serious harm and even kill your pet.
Within 10 minutes the temperature in a vehicle can rise at least 10 degrees higher that it is outside, and 15 to 20 degrees higher within 20 minutes. Escalation to even higher temperatures will occur if the vehicle is parked directly in the sun.
Think leaving a pet in the vehicle with the air-conditioning running is safe? Don’t count on it! Air conditioners can and do break down and blow hot air inside the vehicle instead of the cool air you expect.
Animals do not sweat like humans, dogs cool themselves down by panting and releasing excess heat through their paws. If they have only hot air to breathe, they can not possibly cool themselves down appropriately.
Heatstroke can occur and is displayed by symptoms like; excessive panting, rapid pulse, thickened saliva, tremors, convulsions, seizures vomiting and even coma. If the dogs temperature reaches 41 degrees Celsius, cell and organ damage begin to occur.
Pets are a part of the family and we do enjoy bringing them out. However, if there is a chance that your pet may have to wait for you while you run errands, do a bit of shopping or visit someone for ‘just a minute’ —think before you take them along for the ride.
Heatstroke in your dog can result in brain damage and death. Be responsible and do right by your pet by leaving it at home instead of placing it at risk.
If you witness a dog or any pet in distress inside a hot vehicle, please call the Bylaw Officer at 250-295-3135 or the local RCMP at 250-295-6911.