The charity is handing out free stickers for drivers to raise awareness about the danger of heat for pets
The BC SPCA has launched a campaign about the dangers of leaving animals in hot cars after responding to more than 600 rescue callouts already this summer.
The charity said the drive - dubbed No Hot Pets - aimed to raise awareness of how quickly a situation can become dangerous for animals trapped in sweltering cars, which can see devastating consequences for both pets and their owners.
As part of the campaign, the BC SPCA are mailing out free car decals for drivers to attach to their car windows to spread the word about how dangerous it could be to take your pet on errands with you in the summer, as well as flyers and posters to hand out around their community.
Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA, said the charity had already responded to 642 callouts for animals in distress in hot cars this summer.
She said: “Every year there is at least one call where a pet has died before help can arrive. It is heartbreaking, because it is a horrible way for a pet to die and it is devastating for their guardian.
“Dogs don’t have sweat glands like people do and can only release heat from their bodies by panting or through the pads of their paws. It doesn’t take long, even if a vehicle is parked in the shade with windows partially open, for a pet to suffer severe heatstroke.
“We know people love their pets and want to spend time with them, but if you are going out and will have to leave your pet in a hot car, even for a few minutes, please don’t do it. The consequence could be tragic.”
If you see an animal already in distress in a hot vehicle, please contact your local police, RCMP, animal control agency or the BC SPCA Call Centre at 1-855-622-7722.
To sign up for your free No Hot Pets decal, visit spca.bc.ca/nohotpets.