With an extended heat warning in effect for much of the region, Humane Society London and Middlesex (HSLM) is reminding all pet owners of the potentially fatal consequences of leaving their animals in vehicles.
The forecast is calling for a high of 32 C on Thursday through Sunday — feeling closer to 40 C with the humidity — as well as a high of 31 C on Monday, and a high of 30 C on Tuesday.
Parked cars can get deadly hot very quickly, “even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open,” the humane society says, noting that pets have a “limited ability to sweat.”
“The issue of owners leaving their pets unattended in vehicles during the hot summer months is a serious, ongoing problem and puts animals’ lives at risk,” executive director Steve Ryall stressed.
Norfolk County OPP are also raising alarms about the issue after laying a charge against a 33-year-old in Simcoe this week.
OPP say officers were contacted at roughly 1:20 p.m. on Tuesday over concerns about the driving of another motorist, but when officers later found the vehicle in a Walmart parking lot at Queensway East they found a family dog left alone inside the car.
Police spoke with the driver when they returned. The driver has since been charged with leaving an animal unattended in a motor vehicle, contrary to Norfolk County Care and Control of Animals By-Law 2014-46 and has been issued a provincial offence notice.
The humane society says signs of heat-related distress “can include: vomiting, excessive drooling, convulsions, exaggerated panting (or completely stopped panting).”
HSLM also reminds pet owners to always make sure their animals have access to fresh water, and suggests taking shorter, more frequent walks as well as avoiding asphalt over concerns about potential burns to paws.
The humane society also says if anyone sees an animal left in a hot vehicle “in the City of London or the Counties of Elgin, Middlesex and Oxford, call 911.”