CHATHAM, ON (May 24, 2016) – “I left the window down for him” “I wasn’t going to be gone long” We’ve heard it all! As you may know, the issue of owners leaving their pets in their vehicles during the hot summer months, putting animals’ safety at risk and even causing death, is an ongoing problem across Ontario. There is no excuse for leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle and this summer we need the public’s help to share this important message.
Today the Ontario SPCA Chatham-Kent Animal Centre, in partnership with SPCAs and Humane Societies from across Canada, are launching the 2016 No Hot Pets campaign, to educate the public on the dangers of leaving pets unattended in vehicles during the summer months.
Parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open.
Through the No Hot Pets online forum, citizens are asked to share the dangers of leaving pets in vehicles using the hashtag #nohotpets. In addition, pet owners are asked to go online to nohotpets.ca and pledge to not leave their pets in their vehicles. Those who pledge will receive a free No Hot Pets window decal for their vehicles (while supplies last).
“Leaving your pet unattended in a vehicle is one of the most irresponsible things an owner can do, leave your pet at home and if you must take your pet make sure that someone is with it at all times,” says Kim Sonneveld, Chatham-Kent Animal Centre Manager. “During the hot summer months, let’s keep everyone safe and cool.”
Dogs have a limited ability to sweat; even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening. A dog’s normal body temperature is about 39°C and a temperature of 41°C can be withstood only for a very short time before irreparable brain damage or even death can occur.
If heat stroke is suspected (excessive panting and drooling, listlessness or unconsciousness) prompt veterinary medical attention is vital. In the meantime, wet the fur immediately with lukewarm to cool water, not cold water. Bring the pet into the shade and offer drinking water.
If you observe an animal suffering in the heat, call 310-SPCA (7722) 24/7 or your local police.