Watch above: signs at Wanuskewin Heritage Park, since removed, left pet owners and animal rights advocates frustrated
SASKATOON – Several signs at Wanuskewin Heritage Park that asked visitors to leave their dogs in their vehicles left local pet owners and animal rights advocates frustrated.
“It’s very disappointing to learn that some businesses and recreation park facilities will promote keeping an animal in a vehicle, which is asking people essentially to put their animal in harm’s way,” said Tiffiny Koback with the Saskatoon SPCA.
“It’s certainly concerning, especially when you have people visiting tourist attractions or parks, when you expect they’re going to be there for a period of time longer than five minutes,” she explained.
“I think it’s kind of a stupid sign. It should be taken down,” said Jim Tait, a dog owner in Saskatoon.
“I mean everybody knows not to leave a dog in a vehicle, that’s cruelty,” he said.
After fifteen minutes in 30 degree weather, a dog can succumb to heat stroke, Koback explained.
“That animal will be experiencing heat exhaustion. Any longer than that, and you’re looking at serious organ damage and possible brain damage, leading to death,” she said.
Even in the shade, a car can be ten to twenty degrees hotter than outdoors.
Every week, Saskatoon SPCA receives dozens of reports of pets locked up in vehicles.
“On average, we see three to 10 calls a day,” Koback explained.
After Global News contacted Wanuskewin Heritage Park about the signs and the concerns raised by individuals, officials were quick to apologize and immediately had them removed.
The park sent the following statement:
“For the safety of all those that visit Wanuskewin, we ask that they not bring their dogs to the park and keep them home where they will be safe. We are sorry for any confusion this may have caused our visitors.”
If you see an animal in distress, contact the Saskatoon SPCA.