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What to do when finding a pet in an unattended vehicle

What to do when finding a pet in an unattended vehicle - image

Edmonton – The Edmonton Humane Society (EHS) and Edmonton Fire Rescue are educating Edmontonians about the steps they should take if they find a pet inside an unattended vehicle.

EHS says several 911 calls were made for immediate emergency response when a pet was found in an unattended vehicle during a heat wave in early July, even though the pet was not in distress.

“We want to educate the public on signs of animal distress so we are going to calls that are the highest priority,” says Platoon Chief Barry Lamb with Edmonton Fire Rescue.

Signs a pet is in imminent danger include:

· Excessive panting and thick drool

· A dark pink or purple tongue

· A glazed over appearance

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· Loss of bowels

· The animal is either extremely lethargic or panicking to get out of the vehicle

The Edmonton Humane Society’s website also has signs of a pet in distress inside a vehicle.

EHS says when an animal is showing signs of distress a person should first call the EHS Animal Protection Department at 780-491-3517 and leave a message with details.

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.

The caller should also ask nearby establishments to help find the driver of the vehicle while they wait for Animal Protection officers to respond to their call.

“We hope that people only call 911 in an emergency. If a pet left in a vehicle is not in distress please be patient if our officers are not able to respond right away,” says Edmonton Humane Society Spokesperson, Shawna Randolph. “Our officers also work with other agencies such as an organization’s security team to help them monitor an animal’s status.”

Owners who leave animals in distress in vehicles could face charges under the Animal Protection Act of Alberta.

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