The BC SPCA is urging people to think twice before taking their animals with them while running errands – they’ve had 151 calls of animals in distress so far in May.
That number was sitting at 90 just five days ago, and at this time last year, they had received 114 calls.
BC SPCA’s Lorie Chortyk tells Vancity Buzz that a combination of early hot weather and stronger awareness of the issue has led to more people calling in.
“There was that dog walker in Surrey who had left some dogs in the car, and they perished, and I think the media attention around that really raised awareness about the fact that animals really can perish in hot cars,” she says.
Last summer, the BC SPCA received more than 1,500 calls for animals in distress, and Chortyk fears if that number goes up this year, they won’t be able to respond to every call.
“The BC SPCA only has 25 constables for the entire province and they’re conducting 10,000 cruelty investigations. Our ability to get somewhere to help an animal is limited by our resources,” she says.
If you see a dog suffering from heatstroke in a car – symptoms include salivation, anxious expressions, vomiting, and weakness – then take the following actions:
- Ask nearby stores to page customers
- Try to shade the vehicle
- Call your local police department right away