The SPCA is again reminding people not to leave their pets in hot cars.
“Sadly people don’t realize that it can take a pet companion’s life away and of course for the animal themselves it is a terrible way to die,” says Kelowna SPCA Manager Suzanne Pugh.
This year the SPCA has been receiving more calls of dogs in distress than in previous summers.
While that may be due in part to increased awareness and reporting, the animal welfare organization is nonetheless very concerned.
“Within 10 minutes an animal can go from appearing bright and alert to a critical state so it can be less than 10 minutes. The temperature inside a car really skyrockets. Whatever the temperature is outside, it is typically at least 10 degrees hotter,” says Pugh.
This past Friday the SPCA responded to six calls of dogs left in hot cars in a span of just two hours.
In one case, the RCMP had to break into a vehicle and rush the animal to a vet clinic. Fortunately it did survive.
The SPCA is hoping a new bylaw in the Central Okanagan will help reduce these kinds of situations.
As part of its Responsible Dog Ownership bylaw, the regional district of the Central Okanagan has implemented a 150 dollar fine for anyone who leaves their animal in a hot car.
“That is giving credibility to the message of the BC SPCA that this is no longer acceptable,” says Pugh.
The Central Okanagan regional district is only one of two jurisdictions in BC to impose a fine on those who put their animals at risk.
It’s hoped that others follow suit.