It really frustrates me how I keep hearing about new cases almost every day about people leaving their animals in their cars in the heat. The last few days we were in a heat wave here in Southern BC and to even leave a pet for 10 minutes can mean death. Even when we aren’t in a heat wave and it’s just hot outside it can still mean death or brain damage for your animals. People don’t seem to realize how quickly the temperature rises in a car even if the window is cracked open. The BCSPCA just said today that they have received several calls about animals in hot cars.

A car can reach temperatures of up to 38 degrees in just a few minutes. Dogs don’t even have sweat glands like us so panting is a way they cool themselves and releasing heat from their paws. However if a dog is in your hot car they can’t release any heat from their paws.

The BCSPCA has some advice if you spot a dog in distress in a parked car,

  • Note the license plate and vehicle information and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately;
  • Is the animal in distress? Call your local animal control agency, police, or the BC SPCA hotline at 1-855-622-7722 as soon as possible. Note: It is illegal for members of the public to break a window to access the vehicle themselves; only RCMP and Special Provincial Constables of the BC SPCA can lawfully enter a vehicle. SPCA branch staff and volunteers cannot entevehicles.
  • Keep emergency supplies – bottled water, a small bowl, a towel that can be soaked in water- in your car so that you help hydrate an animal (if a window has been left open) while you wait for emergency response; a battery-powered fan from a dollar store also can be handy to circulate air.

Please from one animal lover to another, don’t leave your animal in your car in the heat, take them with you wherever you are going. Please don’t take the risk, it isn’t worth a precious life.