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Kelowna SPCA on track to respond to more hot pet calls this summer

Click to play video: 'Hot pets are not cool' Hot pets are not cool
Watch Above: Some pet owners in the central Okanagan are not getting the message that “hot dogs are not cool.” – Jul 5, 2018

The Kelowna BC SPCA said that if current trends continue, it will respond to more calls about pets locked in hot cars this year than it did last year.

Last year the branch responded to more than 140 calls and already in 2018 it has received 73 calls about animals locked in hot cars in the central Okanagan.

“We are not even half way into the summer and we are halfway to the mark we had last year,” branch manager Sean Hogan said.

The confirmation that pets continue to be left in hot cars in large numbers in the central Okanagan comes as officials reiterated their warning to pet owners that “hot pets are not cool.”

READ MORE: Dog left in hot car in Squamish parking lot returned to owners

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The Kelowna BC SPCA held a press conference on Thursday with RCMP and the regional district to remind pet owners of the serious consequences that can result from leaving a pet in a hot vehicle.

“Our united message is clear and it is unambiguous: please leave pets at home,” Hogan said.

“Ideally, pets would be left at home because responsible pet guardians know that heat stroke can cause irreparable brain and organ failure and even death in a matter of minutes.”

Hogan emphasized that temperatures inside vehicles can easily be 20 degrees hotter than outside.

Pet owners could also face a $150 fine for leaving their dog in a hot car.

READ MORE: Man caught on camera after leaving dogs in hot car

The SPCA are also cautioning the public against vigilantism if you do see a animal locked in a hot car.

Instead, the public should call the local SPCA branch, or if it is after hours or an emergency, call the RCMP.

“We are asking the public not to break windows, as this can create a more difficult situation for everybody involved,” Hogan said.

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Hogan said that breaking the window can startle the animal, injure the pet with broken glass shards or end with the pet running into traffic.

In case of a true emergency, the RCMP and BC SPCA constables can access the vehicle without breaking a window with the help of a towing company.

Depending on the circumstances, those who do break a window could be criminally charged with mischief.

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