“Officers were able to identify the owners and deal with things,” said Cpl. Neil Wentzell. “There were no injuries in these cases and no charges were laid, but people are encouraged to leave their pets home rather than in cars this time of year.”
Cars heat up very quickly, even with windows partly open, and animals can suffer serious health issues, or even die, within a short period of time.
“Heatstroke can happen within minutes in a car, even with windows down,” said Dr. Melissa Aucoin of Truro Veterinary Hospital. “People often don’t think it’s hot enough to cause problems, but days that don’t seem too hot can heat up quickly.
“Once an animal heats up it can cause organ failure. The first signs are panting and drooling and you might see bright red gums and red inside the ears. If it leads to collapse, the gums may look purplish or bluish.”
People are encouraged not to break windows – which could result in charges – but to call police when they see an animal whose welfare may be in jeopardy. If the vehicle is outside of a store they should also ask staff to make an announcement.
Anyone who leaves an animal in conditions that can cause serious harm or death can be charged under the Animal Welfare Act. The fine for a first offence is $500.
Signs of overheating:
– Excessive panting (or the sudden stopping of panting)
– Excessive drooling
- Red gums and inner ears
– Weakness and muscle tremors
– Lack of co-ordination, convulsions or lethargy