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Public leaving dogs in hot cars at alarming rate: SPCA

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver



Despite the deaths of six dogs left in a car this year and media attention, the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals says it’s still being slammed with reports of animals left in hot, parked automobiles.

The organization responded to 228 calls to rescue dogs left in hot cars in June alone.

Now, the SPCA is asking people to leave their pets at home if they cannot care for them properly when they take them out.

“The temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with windows partly open, can rapidly reach a level that will seriously harm or even kill a pet,” said Lorie Chortyk of the BC SPCA. “In just minutes, the temperature in a parked car can climb to well over 38 degrees.”

This weekend is predicted to be the hottest of 2014 yet.

In May six dogs perished after being left in a van by a dogwalker, who at first claimed the dogs had been stolen only to admit later they had died and she had dumped the bodies.

The SPCA said rapid or erratic pulses, vomiting, muscle tremors, exaggerated panting or sudden stoppage of panting are among symptoms of heatstroke in a dog.

It said if a dog exhibits those symptoms they should be moved to a cool, shady place, wet with water and given water to drink then taken to a vet.

But ice should not be applied as it can restrict blood flow and slow the cooling process.


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