The offensively hot summer temperatures in the Columbia Valley can be life-altering for animals that are left inside of vehicles
In as little as 20 minutes, it can be a matter of life or death, and also result in charges under B.C.’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, as being exposed to extremely hot conditions can deprive animals of adequate ventilation to live.
It is one of the toughest penalties in Canada, with maximum of $75,000 in fines and a two-year imprisonment.
The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act allows SPCA officers to enter and retrieve trapped animals from cars to prevent further distress.
“BC SPCA has received more than 1,200 calls about animals left in hot vehicles this summer, and that number is on the rise, and already higher than the approximately 1,100 calls the SPCA responded to in 2014,” said Marcie Moriarty, BC SPCA chief prevention enforcement officer. “The BC SPCA wants to remind everyone to leave their pets at home in hot weather.”
The B.C. government is consulting with the BC SPCA, the BC College of Veterinarians, UBCM, local governments and police services to improve rescue measures for animals that have been left in cars and are suffering heat-related stress; which means there could be additional tasks identified and altered to help animals in the spring of 2016.
“While many British Columbians are known to indulge their pets, the B.C. government expects every pet owner to be responsible, and not risk their dog’s lives by leaving them in hot cars,” said Norm Letnick, B.C.’s agriculture minister. “Despite awareness campaigns and Canada’s toughest penalties under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, we need to do more in situations when pets are needlessly put at risk. The B.C. government is working with stakeholders to increase options for authorities to rescue animals suffering heat related distress, and fully expect to have them in place before next summer.”
For more information about the BC Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, visit http://goo.gl/A8iOdb.
To learn more visit, www.spca.bc.ca/pet-care/health-safety/dogs-in-hot-cars.html.