With temperatures reaching 32 C in the Central Okanagan, on Thursday, the BC SPCA is warning it’s about 20 degrees hotter in your vehicle.
The warning is aimed at dog owners who are thinking of taking their dog on an outing with them and might leave the pet in the car while they run into the store.
BC SPCA branch manager Sean Hogan says the risk of heat stroke is very real and can devastate an animal’s well-being in as little as 10 minutes.
Last year the Kelowna shelter received more than 140 calls for dogs in hot cars and this year, at just the start of the summer, that number has already hit 73.
“Ideally pets would be left at home, but if you must travel with your pets there are some simple preventative steps that you can take to keep your family member safe and comfortable,” said Hogan. “One, is to travel in the morning when it’s cooler and the other is to bring a friend, so they can walk your dog and keep them in the shade.”
There are businesses in the community that identify as pet friendly and allow for dogs to enter the store.
However, if you do find a dog in a hot car here is what to do:
- Watch the animals behaviour; where is the dog sitting in the vehicle, is it barking or panting, is the dog unresponsive?
- Make a note the vehicle’s make, model and its location
- Call the Kelowna branch of the BC SPCA at (250) 861-7722
As for after-shelter-hours, if the animal is in critical distress call 911 otherwise contact your local police detachment’s non-emergency line.
New this year, a partnership has formed between Mario’s Towing in Kelowna, the RCMP and the Kelowna BC SPCA, to help unlock vehicles and reduce stress to animals.
Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey with the Kelowna RCMP says the partnership was formed to help minimize the damage cause to vehicles by RCMP or BC SPCA cruelty investigation officers.
“It was also to ensure that the animal that is already distressed inside isn’t injured or frightened anymore,” he said. “We strongly encourage the public not to take matters into their own hands and that they contact their local SPCA or police.”