Last summer the BC SPCA responded to over 1500 calls of animals left in hot cars.
This year they’re teaming up with the province to bring that number down.
BC SPCA spokesperson Geoff Urton says their new campaign hopes to provide the “do’s and don’ts” for pet owners this year.
“It’s really not okay to leave your pets in the car, even when the weather is hot, even if you think you’re only going to be a few minutes. People get distracted and forget they left their animal in their car and nobody would want to see something tragic happen. We want to make sure people who love their pets are being as careful as possible and leaving their pets at home and not bringing them with them when doing errands.”
He adds that Good Samaritans need to recognize the signs of a pet in distress before they leap to action.
“We do absolutely want them to take action so animals don’t get in trouble, but there are better ways to take action than breaking a window. The first thing they should do is try to find the owner.”
Symptoms of heatstroke (source: BC SPCA)
- Exaggerated panting (or the sudden stopping of panting);
- rapid or erratic pulse;
- anxious or staring expression;
- weakness and muscle tremors;
- lack of coordination;
- tongue and lips red (which may eventually turn bluish in colour);
- convulsions or vomiting;
- collapse, coma and death.
Careless owners who are caught leaving their pets in sweltering cars this summer could face fines of up to $75,000, or two years in prison.