What to do when you see pets locked in hot vehicles

By Josh Hall (Twitter: @Vancan19)
May 25, 2018 - 9:23pm

It’s not even June yet and already warm weather records are being broken across Alberta.

RCMP and officials with the Central Alberta Humane Society say the rising mercury should act as a reminder to citizens to not leave their pets alone in hot vehicles.

The conundrum for some people who happen upon such a situation is how far to go in helping that animal: should you call the police or break the window?

In a statement, Red Deer RCMP say before someone can lawfully break a window, there must be clear indicators the pet is in heat (or cold)-induced stress.

“RCMP remind citizens that the best choice on hot days is to leave your dog at home. The potential for something to go wrong is too high – you might plan to only be away from your vehicle for a few minutes, and then get delayed, or the temperature could rise unexpectedly,” says Cst. Derek Turner. “Your dog will be happier at home than in a hot vehicle, and so will all the pet lovers be who walk by your vehicle on hot days and worry when they see your dog inside.”

Tara Hellewell, Executive Director with the Humane Society says there’s simply no excuse for doing this.



“A hot car is deathly to an animal. Within minutes it can become lethal. Even leaving your car running with air conditioning; what if it stalls out?” she asks. “People feel like leaving a window cracked is going to be sufficient, but it really isn’t. We have to speak up for animals. They are the voiceless ones.”

If you see an animal left in a vehicle and in distress, RCMP advise you to first call Alberta Animal Services at 403-347-2388. If they deem the dog is in distress, they will contact RCMP.


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