It only takes 10 minutes for a dog in a car to be in serious physical distress

A hot car is no place for an unaccompanied pet

West Shore RCMP and BC SPCA remind public to leave dogs at home rather than risk their lives

Meteorologists are expecting another scorcher of a summer, meaning another season of danger for our pets –  especially those furry friends who travel around with their owners in vehicles.

Despite the seemingly constant reminders not to leave pets in cars on hot days, many owners still haven’t received the message, based on the number of calls received each year by police.

West Shore RCMP say they have responded to 90 instances of dogs left in hot vehicles from 2012 to 2014, approximately 30 per summer.

“Each complaint we receive is investigated on a case-by-case basis,” said detachment spokesperson Const. Alex Berube. He couldn’t say generally what the repercussions are for owners who continue to endanger their pets’ lives in this way.

“We are lucky in that we have different resources in the (region) that can deal with this situation:  B.C. SPCA, CRD Animal Control and police,” he says, meaning more resources on the West Shore are available for this service than in some other municipalities.

The primary message they’re passing on to the public is not to bring your pet with you when you leave the house, if you’re planning on leaving it in a vehicle for any length of time.

An ambulance service in Australia recently conducted a study on a 29 C day. Inside a previously air-conditioned car with the windows up, the temperature went from 20 C to 44 C in just 10 minutes. Ten minutes later it had reached 60.2 C (140 F).

The Canadian Safety Council says children and pets’ core temperature rises three to five times more quickly than adults because of their size. Hyperthermia (heat stroke) occurs when a body’s core temperature reaches 40.5 C.

Since dogs cool themselves by panting, there’s no cooling taking place when the air around them is also hot, and they are therefore physically unable to regulate their body temperature. This can quickly lead to hyperthermia.

In the time it takes to pick up a few things for dinner at the grocery store, get through the line at the check-out and get back to your car, a dog left in that car could have already died an agonizing death.

If you insist on bringing your pet with you, CRD Animal Control senior bylaw officer Don Brown says to make sure you take some precautions.

“Panting and drinking water helps cool them,” he says. “If you travel with your dog this summer, remember to bring fresh water and a bowl.”

The B.C. SPCA asks anyone who spots an animal in distress in a vehicle to follow the following procedures:

Attempt to find the animal’s owner, possibly by asking nearby stores and shops to page the owner of the vehicle, if necessary. Place towels or clothing over the windows to increase shade levels.

If the windows are cracked, try to get water to the animal or use a fan to circulate air within the vehicle.

Call the Animal Cruelty Hotline at 1-855-622-7722 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends. Police or CRD Animal Control should be contacts outside these hours.

“If the dog is up and moving around in the car,” says Marcie Moriarty, chief prevention and enforcement officer of B.C. SPCA, “we urge people to take proactive steps to try and determine the location of the owner, as this may be the fastest way of getting the dog some relief. However, tragedy can occur in less than 10 minutes, so if the animal is exhibiting signs of distress and an owner cannot be located, the authorities need to be called in.”

mdavies@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Still barriers to abortion access on Vancouver Island

Experts say transportation, support, doctors can be barriers to accessing abortion

Victoria Police host Faith-Based Safety Forum in light of recent religious attacks

More than 35 faith-based leaders voice concerns, air questions

Kelowna toddler suffers cracked skull after fall from balcony

Neighbour who found the two-year-old boy said he has a bump the size of a golf ball on his head

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

RCMP probe if teen was intentionally hit with ski pole by mystery skier on B.C. mountain

The incident happened on March 20 on Grouse Mountain. Police are urging witnesses to come forward

Support growing for orphaned Okanagan child after father dies in highway crash

Family thanks emergency crews for assistance in traumatic incident

Pipeline protester chimes in on Justin Trudeau’s B.C. fundraising speech

The government purchased the Trans Mountain pipeline and expansion project for $4.5 billion

Baby boom seniors putting pressure on B.C. long-term care: report

B.C. leads Canada in growth of dementia, dependence on care

UPDATED: B.C. man says he’ll take People’s Party lawsuit as far as he can

Federal judge shut down Satinder Dhillon’s ‘nonsensical’ motion to bar use of PPC name in byelection

Canada stripping citizenship from Chinese man over alleged marriage fraud

The move comes amid severely strained relations between Ottawa and Beijing

Most Read