Leave your pet at home, not in the hot car

It’s warming up again, and that means people need to make sure they don’t leave their pets in hot cars.

It’s warming up again, and that means people need to make sure they don’t leave their pets in hot cars.

Every summer this is a problem, particularly with dogs.

Cracking a window isn’t enough when the mercury starts to soar.

Consider that when the temperature is a balmy mid-20s C outside your vehicle, can easily be upwards of 40 C inside.

And dogs can’t sweat. All they can do is pant to try to keep cool inside their fur coats, and that doesn’t help for very long.

People argue that their pet just really wants to be with them, so they feel it’s mean to leave it at home.

Well, it’s far meaner to take your pet with you and leave it in the car while you run out ‘just for minute’ to do a quick errand or two.

As little as 10 minutes can leave your pet in serious danger.

You’re not being kind, you’re being selfish.

Already in the Cowichan Valley this summer a dog suffered irreparable harm after someone left it and another dog in a vehicle.

We’re astonished that not everybody has gotten the message by now.

By mid-May the BC SPCA had already gotten 151 calls reporting dogs in hot cars, compared to 114 during the same period last year.

That does not bode well.

Consider how you feel when you climb into your vehicle after a day at work, or having run into the grocery store.

Even if you’ve left a window cracked, we bet you dive to turn on the air conditioning before you even close the car door.

Rolling all of the windows down all the way can’t dent the heat reflected inside by the windshield and your back window.

When you have to peel your hands off the steering wheel and your thighs off the leather or vinyl seats, it’s not OK to leave Fido fighting a losing battle to stay alive while you run to the drug store to pick up a prescription.

Every summer we write about this, and every summer there are more dog owners who just don’t seem to get it, who think, for some reason, that it’s not going to be the same when they do it, that they’re not putting their dog in danger.

So we also have to urge the general public to be on guard. If you see a dog shut into a parked car without an owner in sight go into any nearby stores and have the owner paged, or call the SPCA (250-746-4646) first, then try the RCMP non-emergency line (250-748-5522), then the BC SPCA cruelty hotline (1-855-6BC-SPCA).

If you love your dog as much as you claim to, you’ll leave it at home. Even if it shreds a pair of slippers or helps itself to a roll of toilet paper, at least it’s not dead.