Sudbury·Audio

Don't leave pets in vehicles, animal rescue groups warn

As the weather warms up, pet owners are being warned about leaving animals alone in cars.

OSPCA launches No Hot Pets campaign

Kim O'Halloran-Rollins and her husband Jeff Rollins with their two dogs. Last summer, they saw a dog panting alone in a car, which prompted them to call the OSPCA. They waited outside for half an hour before help came along. (Samantha Lui/CBC)
Seven minutes is all it can take to kill a pet left alone in a car during the summer. We heard from a couple who spotted a dog panting inside a car at a mall parking lot last summer. We also heard from Jill Pessot, the director of Pet Save. 6:28

As the weather warms up, pet owners are being warned about leaving animals alone in cars.

It's a problem that concerns animal groups as well as the public, including Sudbury's Kim O'Halloran-Rollins. Last summer, she and her husband saw a dog panting alone in a car.

"The dog was on the floor in the back seat," she explained. "It looked very uncomfortable."

The situation prompted the couple to call the OSPCA, and they waited outside for half an hour before help came along.

She said she and her husband later tried locking themselves in their own car to get a sense of what the dog was feeling.

"I mean, we didn't even do it for ten minutes," she said. "We were sweating. We were in shock at how hot, how fast it got hot."

Dogs should not be left in cars on hot days. It can be fatal, the OSPCA says. (Associated Press)

'Lethal levels' of heat

The director of Pet Save, an animal rescue group in Sudbury, said a dog can die within minutes if left alone in hot temperatures.

"If you have 24 degree weather like we're having this week, a vehicle with a dog in it now rises within seven minutes to 30 degrees," Jill Pessot said.

"Within 10 minutes, to 40 degrees, and those are lethal levels for a dog."

Today, the OSPCA is launching its No Hot Pets campaign to educate people about the issue.

The senior inspector for northern Ontario said pet owners should leave their animals at home if the weather is hot outside.

"A dog's normal temperature is 39 degrees [and] when they reach 41, they can only withstand that for a small amount of time before there can be brain damage," Lynn Michaud said.

"[When] you have that ongoing exposure, it can cause death, and we have had animals die."

Michaud said people should contact the OSPCA or police if they see an animal alone in a vehicle.

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