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BC SPCA responds to more than 600 calls for animals in distress during heat wave

The BC SPCA is asking pet owners to leave their animals at home this summer
Who’s a good boy then? Your dog is, and he’ll feel a lot better if you leave him at home during hot weather. (Photo credit: BC SPCA)

Already this summer, the BC SPCA has responded to 642 calls to rescue animals in distress in hot cars.

Temperatures soared across the province, reaching into the low 40s for many communities. The heat was unbearable for British Columbians, causing hundreds of deaths from June 25 to July 1.

The situation was dangerous not only for humans but also pets. Now, the BC SPCA is launching its No Hot Pets campaign to remind pet guardians of the perilous situation of leaving animals in vehicles.

Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA explained, that every year there is at least one call where a pet has died before help can arrive.

“It is heartbreaking because it is a horrible way for a pet to die and it is devastating for their guardian.”

She said dogs don’t have sweat glands like humans do and can only release heat from their bodies by panting or through the pads of their paws.

“It doesn’t take long, even if a vehicle is parked in the shade with windows partially open, for a pet to suffer severe heatstroke,” said Chortyk.

READ MORE: B.C. funds 85 new paramedics, 22 ambulances as demand climbs

As part of its No Hot Pets campaign, the BC SPCA is offering free car decals to help people raise awareness of the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars, as well as posters, flyers and other educational materials that animal lovers can distribute in their community.

Chortyk went on to explain that animal lovers should spread the word to friends and family about leaving pets at home because it could be deadly to take your fur baby on an errand during the intense summer heat.

“We know people love their pets and want to spend time with them, but if you are going out and will have to leave your pet in a hot car, even for a few minutes, please don’t do it. The consequence could be tragic,” she said.

If you see an animal already in distress in a hot vehicle, please contact your local police, RCMP, animal control agency or the BC SPCA Call Centre at 1.855.622.7722.

To sign up for your free No Hot Pets Decal visit

READ MORE: Heat wave dubbed ‘dangerous,’ ‘historic,’ bakes much of Western Canada


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Jen Zielinski

About the Author: Jen Zielinski

Graduated from the broadcast journalism program at BCIT. Also holds a bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Thompson Rivers University.
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