“I left the window down for him.”

“I wasn’t going to be gone long.” We’ve heard it all.  The issue of owners leaving their pets in their vehicles during the hot summer months, putting animals’ safety at risk and even causing death, is an ongoing problem across Ontario. There is no excuse for leaving a pet unattended in a vehicle and this summer the public’s help is needed to share this important message.

The Ontario SPCA launched its 2018 No Hot Pets campaign on June 21 in partnership with SPCAs and humane societies across Canada, to remind the public about the danger of leaving pets unattended in vehicles.

Parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open. Dogs, in particular, have a limited ability to sweat, so even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening.

“People still aren’t getting the message about how dangerous it is to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle,” says Connie Mallory, Chief Inspector at the Ontario SPCA. “It’s completely unacceptable. Leave your pet at home and if you must take your pet, make sure that someone is with it at all times.”

“There is a zero-tolerance policy for anyone who puts an animal in distress by leaving them unattended in a vehicle. If the Ontario SPCA responds to a dog-in-car call and the dog is deemed to be in distress, the owner will be charged under the Ontario SPCA Act for permitting distress,” says Mallory.

Businesses across the province are also getting on board with the No Hot Pets campaign and are welcoming animals into their place of business while pet owners shop. For a complete list of participating businesses, as well as information on how to register, visit nohotpets.ca.

If you observe an animal suffering in the heat, call 310-SPCA (7722) or your local police.