Don’t leave kids or pets in hot cars: Edmonton police warning

It only takes minutes for a dog to develop symptoms of heat stroke after being left in a hot car. File Photo

Edmonton is going to be getting some hot temperatures for the next few days and that means your vehicle could be almost twice as warm on the inside as the outside.

READ MORE: Heat alert: How extreme heat affects the body

Officers have been getting a lot of calls from people concerned about a child in a car, Sgt. Lael Sauter with the EPS Child at Risk Response Team (CARRT) told iNews880.

“In fact, we actually get almost one a day,” explained Sauter, who said earlier this week police received three reports of kids in hot cars in three days.

Another one came in Thursday evening in north Edmonton, where a baby was taken to hospital as a precaution after being found in a vehicle in a parking lot. Police later laid charges against the mother. The incident occurred as the city of Edmonton has been put under a heat warning by Environment Canada.

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READ MORE: Edmonton under heat warning as hot summer weather arrives

Temperatures are expected to be high for an “unusually long duration,” according to Environment Canada. Some areas could reach temperatures in the mid-30s through the weekend.

WATCH: A tongue-in-cheek video posted on YouTube that advocates against leaving dogs in hot cars is getting some attention online. Courtesy: bchizzle, YouTube.

Leaving kids or pets in the car can be a fatal mistake, as temperatures can quickly become dangerous — if not deadly — within minutes, Sauter said. He added the legal ramifications of leaving kids and pets being found in distress can be severe.

“If that person is found guilty of that, they could be looking at possible imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years and the other one is, if it is under summary conviction for a term not exceeding 18 months so either way it is imprisonment,” explained Sauter.

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READ MORE: What kind of person could forget a child in a hot car? Anyone, experts say

Sauter said it is easy to avoid a tragedy by planning better and having someone watch the child or pet.

The Edmonton Humane Society is also reminding people not to leave their pets in hot vehicles.

5 signs of distress to watch for

  1. Excessive panting or drooling.
  2. The dog’s tongue has turned dark purple.
  3. The animal is behaving frantically — pawing at the window, or trying to stick its nose out.
  4. Loss of control of bowels.
  5. Lethargic, and unresponsive behaviour.

READ MORE: 5 signs a dog left in a vehicle is in distress (and what you should do if you see one)

Officials advise against trying to get an animal out of someone else’s car yourself, explaining that pets are considered property and you could risk being charged.

You could also run the risk of being attacked by the animal you’re trying to free.

If an animal is showing signs of distress, people are asked to first call the Edmonton Humane Society Protection Department at 780-491-3517 and leave a message with details.

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The Humane Society says officers try to call back within 15 minutes. However, if a person doesn’t get a call back in that time, EHS recommends calling 911 if it’s an emergency.

If you do end up calling 911, fire officials ask that you stay by the vehicle and wait until they arrive in order to help them find the vehicle.

Over the past couple years, animal enforcement says two people have been convicted for leaving their dogs in hot cars.

— With files from Phil Heidenreich, Global News, and Patricia Kozicka

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