If a bystander sees a dog in distress in a vehicle, the bystander is lawfully allowed to try and rescue the dog. Don’t forget to call officials. (Contributed)

BC SPCA launches #NoHotPets campaign this summer

Many dog owners don’t know how deadly hot cars can be, SPCA stated

The B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is reminding pet owners that summer temperatures can be deadly, especially for dogs left in parked vehicles.

The #NoHotPets campaign includes information on the dangers of dogs in hot cars, steps to take if you see an animal in distress and free car decals upon request.

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“Every year our constables receive hundreds of calls to rescue dogs in distress in hot vehicles,” said Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA. “Sadly, some dogs have already died by the time we are called. It is so tragic because it is a completely preventable death.

“Even on a cloudy day, parked in the shade with the windows rolled down, a vehicle can reach temperatures that put animals in peril in just 10 minutes.”

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The BC SPCA advises bystanders to follow a two-step process if they see an animal in a car:

  1. Note the license plate, vehicle colour, make and model and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner.
  2. If the animal is in distress, call the police, local animal control agency or the BC SPCA call centre at 1-855-622-7722 as quickly as possible.

A heat stroke can be visualized in a number of different ways. If the animal has an erratic or rapid pulse, is salivating, anxious or heavily panting, a bystander is lawfully allowed to remove the animal from the car to a cool space, wet it with water, let it drink water or lick ice cream, fan the dog and bring it to the vet for further evaluation.

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