It’s a message heard every summer: don’t leave pets inside hot cars. Unfortunately, the Regina Humane Society still gets anywhere from 150 to 200 calls each year about it.
While there isn’t a specific law stating it’s illegal, the Humane Society’s Bill Thorn said abuse is covered under the Animal Protection Act of Saskatchewan.
“It is against the law to cause an animal to be in distress, so that’s where the problem could come in and people could find themselves charged under that act,” he explained, adding it doesn’t make a difference if a person cracks a window or leaves the air conditioning running.
“Unless you’re going to be taking the animal with you out of the car each time you’re going to stop, leave them at home. They’ll be happier, much cooler and obviously safe.”
Should a person see a dog trapped inside a hot car, Thorn recommends not to take action by breaking the window — instead, give Animal Protective Services or police a call.
Despite the toasty weather, he noted dogs can still go for walks, but it’s important owners feel the asphalt before heading out and keep an eye on their furry friend while on the move.
“My rule of thumb is if I’m uncomfortable, chances are my dog is, too — I’m not wearing a fur coat, she is,” Thorn said.
He added excessive drooling and lethargy are generally the first signs that a dog’s overheated.
To cool them down, Thorn suggests making the dog lay down in the shade with lukewarm water — not cold — and getting them to a veterinarian as well to make sure they’re OK.