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SPCA power over hot dogs?

Temperatures may have been peaking just over 20 degrees on Monday, but inside a vehicle parked on Water Street it was much hotter.
Photo: Trevor Rockliffe

Inside the silver SUV were two small dogs locked in for well over an hour according to witnesses.

The Kelowna SPCA was called to the scene after receiving several complaints from the public.

Animal attendant Pat Lamontagne of the Kelowna SPCA arrived with several blankets in hand, which he used to cover the windows of the vehicle to provide some shade to the two pups.

“You leave your dog in the sun, even with the windows rolled down, it is going to be on average 10 or 15  degrees warmer in the car,” he says. “Anything close to 20 degrees (outside) you have to take your dogs with you out of the vehicle.”

Lamontagne used a small thermostat to check the temperature inside the vehicle, and received a reading of 38 degrees before the blankets were thrown over the windows.

RCMP arrived shortly after Lamontagne. An officer monitored the situation ensuring the dogs were not over come with heat exhaustion.

Police are the only officials who are able to break a window into a locked vehicle if an animal is in distress, and they encourage the public to call them if they see a dog inside a hot car instead of trying to handle the situation alone.

The owner, who was from Alberta, returned to her car before the dogs showed signs of distress. 

She was issued an order from the SPCA and given a educational lesson on leaving your pet inside a hot vehicle by the RCMP.

Regional District of the Central Okanagan (RDCO) bylaw officers did not attend the scene, however, under the new Responsible Dog Ownership Bylaw RDCO bylaw officers can now issue a fine to any owner who leaves their dog in an enclosure or vehicle without adequate ventilation.

Only bylaw officers can issue the $150 tickets.

The Kelowna SPCA attended a second call for a dog left in a hot vehicle on Monday. Animal care attendants will be forwarding the owners information to bylaw where a fine could be levied based on the Regional District’s discretion.

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