As high temperatures arrived this week, the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth is responding to calls for distressed animals in hot cars.
Officials urge pet owners not to leave pets in these dangerous situations. Even on fairly mild days, with the car parked in the shade and with the windows down, parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, a news release says. Animals, especially dogs and cats, have a limited ability to sweat, so even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening.
“Leaving your pet unattended in a vehicle is not only one of the most irresponsible things that a pet owner can do, it’s also illegal,” says Kathrin Delutis, chief executive officer. “Pet owners are subject to fines and charges under The Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act and under local bylaws.”
A dog’s normal body temperature is about 39°C, and a temperature of 41°C can be withstood only for a very short time before irreparable brain damage or even death can occur. If a dog is showing signs of heat stroke (excessive panting/drooling, is listless or unconscious), getting prompt veterinary medical treatment is vital.
You can assist by wetting the fur immediately with lukewarm-cool water (do not use cold water), placing the pet in the shade and offering drinking water. Please contact your local police or animal welfare group if you witness a pet in a hot car. Residents can also call the Humane Society with questions. For more information on the initiatives of the Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth, please visit kwsphumane.ca.