Animal protection officers in B.C. have rushed to the aid of more than 600 animals left in hot cars this summer.
SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk said a total of 642 pets have been left to in vehicles, some during the heat wave that saw parts of the province bake in 40 C temperatures.
Dogs don’t possess sweat glands like humans, Chortyk added. They release heat by panting or through the pads of their paws.
“It doesn’t take long — even if a vehicle is parked in the shade with windows partly open — for a pet to suffer severe heatstroke,” she said. “Every year there is at least one call where a pet has died before help can arrive. It is heartbreaking.”
The animal welfare organization is giving out “No Hot Pets” car decals to raise awareness about the dangers of transporting pets during summer months.
“We know people love their pets and want to spend time with them, but if you are going out and will have to leave your pet in a hot car, even for a few minutes, please don’t do it,” urged Chortyk.
“The consequence could be tragic.”
If you see an animal in distress, call local police, animal control or the B.C. SPCA at 1-855-622-7722.