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SPCA warns hot cars pose dangers to pets

The Lloydminster and District SPCA is warning people that if it’s too hot out for them, it’s too hot for their pets.

A heatwave has recently hit the Border City, making already hot summer weather event warmer. The animal shelter is advising people that they should not be leaving their pets in the car, even for a few moments. According to the Alberta SPCA, on a 29-degree day, the inside of a car can get as hot as 40 degrees within ten minutes. In a half-hour, that hits almost 50 degrees Celsius, or over 118 degrees Fahrenheit.

SPCA Director Becca Lawerence says this level of heat exhaustion can have negative effects on a pet, including in some cases, death.

“Dogs don’t, you know, they don’t sweat like we do. They have that fur coat on them, and they sweat through their feet, but they just don’t regulate heat the same way we do. Then, they’re just basically cooking from the inside.”

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If someone comes across an animal in a hot car, Lawerence says the SPCA does not recommend the person take action to get the animal out of the vehicle. In some cases, the animal may become aggressive if they believe someone is breaking into the vehicle. Instead, they recommend things like going into the store and getting an announcement over the intercom to warn the owner about their pet. In extreme cases where the animal could be in danger, people can also call Lloydminster By-Law, thereby not breaking the law to get the animal out themselves.

The Lloydminster SPCA also recommends helping pets cool off at home, and during outdoor play as well. Lawerence adds that the ways people help pets beat the heat can be simple.

“You can get a little kiddy pool, make sure they have shaded areas if they are outside, lots of access to water, you don’t want them sitting in direct sunlight.”

People can get in touch with the SPCA over the phone as well if they believe an animal is in distress. From there, the shelter will determine the best next steps.

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