West Shore RCMP have issued a reminder to the public to stop leaving their dogs in cars during the summer.

The advisory was released after they responded to several calls about dogs suffering while left alone in hot cars over the weekend.

“People don’t realize just how quickly their cars can become death traps for their pets – it can take as little as 10 minutes for the vehicle to reach temperatures where the animal can suffer irreparable brain damage or death,” says Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the BC SPCA.

“We know that if people are taking their pets with them, it’s because they love them and want to spend time with them, but we really do encourage pet guardians to please, leave their pets at home when they’re going out in the car.”

Leaving pets in hot cars can also result in fines according to municipal bylaws, while serious harm or death can lead to criminal charges being filed against the owner of the pet.

If you see a dog in a hot car….

Remember that it is illegal for the public to break a vehicle window to help an overheated animal.

If a window has been cracked open, the BC SPCA recommends trying to give water to the pet, or use a “battery-powered fan from a dollar store” to circulate air.

“If you see an animal in potential distress, attempt to provide them with water and shade and try to locate the owner. If the situation is more urgent, immediately call the SPCA call centre (1-855-622-7722), animal control or local police,” says Cpl. Chris Dovell of the West Shore RCMP.

The BC SPCA Provincial Call Centre is open seven days a week, Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 5:30 PM, and Saturday and Sunday 9 AM to 5 PM.

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