With temperatures reaching record-breaking highs, the Nanaimo RCMP is reminding the public about the risk to animals left in parked vehicles.
“Over the past couple of days, officers have responded to several calls of dogs left in vehicles,” the release noted. “Fortunately, all calls for service were resolved without incident and the animal was not injured.”
RCMP say a vehicle parked in the sun in 35 C heat can push the temperature inside a vehicle to about 46 C within 10 minutes, which can be fatal to an animal left inside.
“In many cases, a dog is heard barking and can be seen jumping up and down. This in itself is not necessarily a sign that the animal is in imminent distress,” said Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman, in the release. “It does however result in police being called to assist.”
Police recommend that those who come across an animal unattended in a vehicle should determine if the vehicle is parked in direct sun, if there is air flow and a water source, and should observe how is the animal behaving – lying down, panting, barking, vomiting, lethargic or appearing to have lost co-ordination.
Passersby should note the licence plate number, vehicle colour, make and model, and ask nearby business owners to page the owner to return to their vehicle. If the animal is not showing signs signs of distress, but this is concern for its well-being, police suggest passersby stay by the vehicle to monitor the situation until the owner returns.
“It is important for the public to realize that only certain agencies such as the police, are authorized to forcibly enter a vehicle and remove a dog,” noted the release.
If the animal is showing clear signs of distress, call 911 immediately or the Nanaimo RCMP detachment non-emergency line at 250-754-2345, say police. Animal control services will also attend incidents Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by calling 250-616-0233.
“To avoid these situations, it is strongly suggested during the hot days of summer, to leave your animals at home,” the release concluded.