Police, SPCA warn dog owners how quickly tragedy can strike in parked car on a hot day
Published Thursday, August 22, 2019 3:21PM ADT
Last Updated Thursday, August 22, 2019 9:55PM ADT
As the dog days of summer come to an end, pet owners are once again being reminded that their four-legged friends and vehicles don't mix.
Despite repeated campaigns to educate the public about the dangers of leaving animals inside hot cars, some people keep doing it.
As the hot, humid weather continues to linger, responsible pet owners are doing what they can to keep their furry friends cool.
For Morgan Grimbly and her dog Bruin, that means finding shade whenever possible.
"I try to keep him out of the sun," Grimbly says. "He always has lots of cool water. I put ice cubes in his water sometimes and I have been known to put cold towels on top of him if he's really hot, if he's really minding it."
Others, like Dan Prokop and his dog Charley, switch up their routine to beat the heat.
"We change the times of the day when we walk her," Prokop says. "So, if it's really hot, it's been hot here for a few weeks, we'll walk her a lot earlier in the day."
As the hot weather persists, Halifax police are reminding people of the dangers of leaving dogs in parked vehicles.
"Even a parked vehicle with its windows down can become like a furnace and it can present fatal conditions to an animal that's left inside," said Halifax Regional Police spokeswoman Const. Amy Edwards.
Edwards says police continue to receive calls about dogs inside hot vehicles.
From 2015 to 2017, Halifax police handed out 23 tickets for the offence -- each coming with a fine of $697.
Last year, 14 people were ticketed and, so far this year, three people in the city were handed a fine for leaving their pet inside a vehicle.
The SPCA says within minutes, an animal can start to feel the effects of a hot car.
"I think generally that the people that are taking these dogs with them are generally good pet owners, what they don't realize is how quick it can happen," said Jo-Anne Landsburg of the Nova Scotia SPCA.
If you do want to bring your dog with you, officials recommend researching dog-friendly places before you go.
"Maybe find a location that's a drive-thru, you know, even grocery stores now, you can order your groceries online and people will bring them out to you," Edwards says. "Perhaps bring a friend, so if you have to run in, your friend can stay out in the air conditioning or walk your pet or look around. Do a little research on the stores, the retailers that we have in the city now and a lot of them are becoming pet-friendly."
It's supposed to be cooler and less humid this weekend, although pet owners are reminded that it can still be hot inside a vehicle, especially in the afternoon.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Natasha Pace.