Summer hasn’t even started yet, but the BC SPCA says they’ve already received 90 reports of dogs locked in hot cars so far in May.
Last year, they received more than 1,500 calls for animals in distress inside hot cars.
“The warm weather has come early, so I think we’re headed into a summer where pets are going to be in distress,” BC SPCA’s Lorie Chortyk told Vancity Buzz. “We want to stress to people that if they love their pets, please leave them at home while they’re running errands.”
Chortyk says it can take just 10 minutes for a dog to overheat in a hot car, and can cause brain damage or death.
“It doesn’t make sense that you would put your pet in what is essentially an oven on a hot day. I think what many people don’t realize is that animals can’t perspire the same way that humans can.”
She says the only way dogs can get moisture out of their bodies is through their paws, so their internal temperatures rise rapidly, leading to organ damage in many cases.
“It’s like a microwave – they literally fry from the inside out,” says Chortyk.
Based on the high volume of calls they’ve received already, Chortyk is concerned that the numbers will continue to go up this summer.
“The BC SPCA only has 25 constables for the entire province and they’re conducting 10,000 cruelty investigations. Our ability to get somewhere to help an animal is limited by our resources.”
If you see a dog in distress, Chortyk recommends calling the non-emergency police line within your area.