With the arrival of summer, the RCMP and BC SPCA see an increase in calls from concerned citizens about the well-being of animals left unattended in hot vehicles.
Lorie Chortyk, general manager of community relations for the BC SPCA, says they get hundreds of calls to rescue dogs whose lives are endangered because they are left in cars.
"Many well meaning guardians leave their dogs unattended in parked cars while they run errands," she said. "Tragically this can lead to serious heatstroke and even death for their pets, in as little as 10 minutes."
Penticton RCMP Cpl. Martin Trudeau offered this further advice for those who see animals in distress.
"Though well intended, some citizens may find themselves with an urge to force their way into a vehicle hoping to free a distressed animal," he said. "Such an act on their part constitutes an act of mischief under the Criminal Code as only authorized agents such as the police or SPCA special constables have the authority to enter a premise or vehicle without a warrant to assist an animal in critical distress."
He urges anyone who has concerns to please contact the SPCA. They can then assess the situation and liaise with the police to ensure the proper action is taken.
To report concerns about animals left in hot cars, call the BC SPCA's toll free animal cruelty hotline at 1-855-622-7722 or your local RCMP after hours.
For more information regarding this issue, visit spca.bc.ca.