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Dog owner charged with animal cruelty after pet dies in hot car

Vincent Plana Mar 15, 2019 9:24 am

A woman in BC has been charged with animal cruelty after her dog, Ava, died in a hot car last summer.

On July 23, 2018, a Victoria woman is said to have left her Boston Terrier, Ava, in a car for seven hours. Temperatures in the area reached 30°C that day and all the windows in the vehicle were left closed.

By the time she returned to her car, the dog had died.

Stephanie Skinner has been charged with one count of animal cruelty under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

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“This is such a tragic and preventable case,” said Eileen Drever, senior office, protection and stakeholder relations for the BC SPCA. “Every year, the BC SPCA and other animal welfare groups warn people about the dangers of leaving their pets in hot cars.”

Drever explains that even 10 minutes in a hot, unventilated car can be fatal for an animal.

“An animal left for seven hours in those temperatures would not have stood a chance,” she says.

Skinner will make her first appearance in court on March 28, 2019.

If convicted, she faces a maximum fine of $75,000, up to two years in jail, and up to a lifetime ban on owning animals.

What to do if you find a dog trapped in a hot car

  • If you’re able to safely and lawfully remove the animal from the vehicle, move the animal to a cool, shady place.
  • Wet the animal with cool water (ice won’t work).
  • Fan the animal to help evaporation.
  • Allow the animal to drink cold water (they can even lick ice cream if no water is available).
  • If you see an animal in distress in a parked vehicle, despite your best intentions, it’s recommended that you don’t break through the window.
  • Write down the license plate, vehicle colour, make and model, and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner immediately.
  • Contact your local animal control agency, police, RCMP, or the BC SPCA Hotline (1-855-622-7722).
  • At the end of the day, it’s simply best to leave a dog at home where there’s more space, water, and shade.
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