A Port Coquitlam veterinary hospital is hoping a sad Facebook post, showing the covered body of a dog that died after being left in a hot car on Friday, will serve as a reminder to pet owners.
“We are heartbroken. Such a preventable disaster,” reads part of the Facebook post from Shaughnessy Veterinary Hospital.
Vet and hospital owner Leah Montgomery said the decision to post the picture wasn’t taken lightly, but they feel it sends an important message.
“People obviously still need to be reminded about this, and to me, the best reminder was the picture of the deceased dog lying on our table in the back of the clinic. And if that doesn’t hit home to people, I don’t know what else is going to.”
She said it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes for the temperature inside a car to rise to a dangerous level.
“And then, of course, they pant because they can’t sweat and they just keep recirculating all that hot air and their system starts to shut down and unfortunately he probably literally cooked in the car,” said Montgomery.
She said the incident took place Friday afternoon in Port Coquitlam, but is unsure how long the dog was inside the car.
Montgomery said the family was completely heartbroken. She said the owners were not bad people, but that pet owners need to remember this could happen to anyone.
“I think people don’t think, and they think, ‘Oh, it’s only going to be a minute,’ and then it just turns into longer. You get distracted or you just forget that the dog is in the car,” said Montgomery.
“So when we are talking to the clients they are obviously so upset and we can’t get angry, we can’t lay the blame, because they are blaming themselves enough.”
With a heat wave expected to Metro Vancouver next week, she is hoping pet owners will be smart and leave them at home when running errands.
The BC SPCA issued a warning on Friday asking owners to leave their pets at home.