TORONTO – Mississauga may be putting residents on a tighter leash when it comes to leaving animals outside.
Mississauga city council is considering a ban on keeping pets outdoors during extreme temperatures.
The city wants to form a committee to examine the particulars of the proposed bylaw, including how it would be enforced and the penalties that may be levied.
“If someone’s life is in danger, whether it be a dog or person, then I think it’s reasonable to step in,” Kerry, a local dog owner in Mississauga, said.
Mayor Hazel McCallion, who owns a dog herself, recently came out in support of the proposed idea.
Brad Dewar of the OSCPCA says the organization received between 50 and 60 calls for animals in distress over the past two weeks.
“On a relatively mild day we might get one or two calls; but when it starts to heat up, that increases to between 10 to 15 calls a day,” he said.
There are already provincial laws meant to protect animals kept outdoors, he said.
“An animal being kept outside has to have access to fresh water in a spill-proof container. It also has to have access to a suitable and appropriate shelter,” he said, noting that shade from trees is not enough.
Penalties for severe cases of animal cruelty include two years in jail or a $60,000 fine. Signs of heat stroke include increased heart rate, excessive panting or drooling, and confusion and disorientation.
The OSPCA has recently set up a new tip line to call when you see a dog trapped in a hot car: 310-SPCA (7722)