“I left the window down for him.” “I wasn’t going to be gone long.” The Ontario SPCA has heard it all! To educate the public about the dangers of leaving pets unattended in vehicles during the summer months, the Ontario SPCA launched the 2017 No Hot Pets campaign in partnership with SPCAs and humane societies from across Canada.
The issue of owners leaving their pets in vehicles during the hot summer months is an ongoing problem across Ontario and puts animals at risk. There is no excuse for leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle this summer. The Ontario SPCA is seeking the public’s help to share this important message.
Through the No Hot Pets online forum, people are asked to share the dangers of leaving pets in vehicles using the hashtag #nohotpets. Pet owners are also asked to go online to nohotpets.ca and pledge to never 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 Connie Mallory, Chief Inspector, Ontario SPCA. “During the hot summer months, let’s keep everyone safe and cool.”
Parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open. Dogs have a limited ability to sweat, so 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 a dog is showing signs of heat stroke — 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 in Ontario, call 310-SPCA (7722) or your local police.