‘Animals are safer left at home’: What to do if you see a dog in a hot car in Calgary

The Calgary Humane Society is asking people to be on the lookout for pets left unattended in parked vehicles this summer in an effort to keep animals safe.

“If you see something, say something,” senior manager of animal cruelty investigations at the Calgary Humane Society Brad Nichols said.

Read more: Vancouver dog owner slapped with $250 fine for leaving pets in hot car

Although Calgary has seen a wet and relatively cool summer so far this year, the temperature is expected to climb to 26 C on Saturday,

“Every summer, animal protection authorities are inundated with calls about dogs left in hot cars,” the humane society said in a Friday news release. “While most offending owners do not mean to cause harm to their pet, leaving an animal in a vehicle in warm weather can be incredibly dangerous to the health of the animals.

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“Animals are safer left at home.”

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The humane society warns the consequences of leaving a four-legged friend in a car can be severe for the animal, causing lasting health issues and even death.

Read more: Why you shouldn’t smash the window when you see a dog in a hot car

Meanwhile, the driver can face legal consequences and damage to their vehicle if authorities are forced to break a window to free the too-hot critter.

Police officer smashes window to save dog locked in hot car

Police officer smashes window to save dog locked in hot car

“Hot car calls are frustrating for authorities because they are so avoidable,” Nichols said. “Please just leave your pet at home if you are unable to remain with the pet for the duration of your outing.

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“These are truly emergency, life and death calls.”

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What to do if you see a dog in a hot car in Calgary

If you see a dog left alone in a car on a warm or hot day, the Calgary Humane Society says you should follow these steps:

  1. Keep track of the time of day, temperature, location and licence plate number of the vehicle, as well as its make/model, and record a brief description of the dog. “You can take photos with your cell phone or take notes,” a post on the humane society’s website states. “You will need this information to pass on to the Calgary Police Service (CPS) or the Calgary Humane Society (CHS).”
  2. Immediately call CPS or CHS to file a report.
  3. If the owner returns before you can complete your call or before CPS or CHS arrive, the humane society says it is still important to ensure the information you recorded is given to officials. “CPS or CHS will follow up and educate the dog’s owner on the dangers of leaving their dog in a hot car and check to ensure that the dog is okay.”

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