With the summer weather finally here, the RCMP and the SPCA are encouraging motorists to think twice before leaving your pets in your vehicle for any amount of time.
In the time it takes to run a quick errand, the interior of a vehicle can heat up fast – making it intolerable for pets. “Every year, the RCMP in Nova Scotia responds to complaints of animals being left in vehicles during the summer months,” says Cpl. Chris Marshall. “When the weather is warm, it’s best to leave your four-legged friends’ home or visit pet friendly businesses to avoid a potentially tragic outcome.”
According to the SPCA, signs that an animal could be in distress include:
- Exaggerated panting
- Rapid or erratic pulse
- Anxious or staring expression
- Weakness and muscle tremors
- Lack of coordination
- Red or blue tongue and lips
- Convulsions or vomiting
- Collapse or coma
“Leaving your window cracked or parking in the shade makes little to no difference,” says Jo-Anne Landsburg, Chief Provincial Inspector at the Nova Scotia SPCA. “The only thing that will do is give you a false feeling that your pet is protected. Even on a mild day, it does not provide enough circulation to prevent the interior temperature from quickly becoming dangerous.”
Remember, if the animal is alert, standing upright and barking, they are likely not in distress. Here are things to do if you come across an animal in a vehicle that appears to be in distress:
Look for the owner of the car. Go to nearby stores and have the owner paged.
If you cannot locate the owner, call your local police and stay at the vehicle until police arrive. Do not contact police unless the animal is obviously distressed.
If you are unsure if an animal is in distress, call the Nova Scotia SPCA at 1-888-703-7722
Follow up by filing a report with the Nova Scotia SPCA either online or by phone and ensure that you obtain a license plate of the vehicle.