Leaving pets in hot cars can be deadly

Submitted by Town of Slave Lake Enforcement Services

Leaving pets locked in cars is never safe. But when the weather gets warmer, it can be deadly. It can cause irreparable organ damage and even death. Protecting animals from an unnecessary death is something we can all agree on.

How to help a pet left in a hot car

Take down the car’s make, model and license plate number.

If there are businesses nearby, notify their managers and ask them to make an announcement to find the car’s owner. Many people are unaware of the danger of leaving pets in hot cars and will quickly return to their vehicle once they are alerted to the situation.

If the owner can’t be found, call animal control 780-849-8014 and wait by the car for them to arrive.

If your pet is exposed to high temperatures:

Look for signs of heat stress—heavy panting, glazed eyes, a rapid pulse, unsteadiness, a staggering gait, vomiting or a deep red or purple tongue.

If your pet is overheated, move it to a cooler area and take these emergency steps:

Gradually lower its body temperature by sprinkling cool water on it. Do not soak it in cool or cold water because its temperature could drop too low.

Place cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, in the armpits, and in the groin area. You may also wet the ear flaps and paws with cool water. Direct a fan on the wet areas to speed evaporative cooling.

You may offer fresh, cool water if your dog is alert and wants to drink. Do not force your pet to drink. Take your pet immediately to a veterinarian—it could save its life. Call ahead, if possible.

If you see an animal in a car showing signs of heat stress, call your local animal care and control agency or police department and take the following steps:

Get the vehicle’s tag number and enter the nearest store or business to request an emergency announcement be made about a pet left in a hot car. Go back and wait for police at the vehicle.

This week, Slave Lake Peace Officers will be out with their laser heat detecting guns to monitor animals in hot cars. Leaving the windows down two inches is not sufficient! If animals are taken to the store then the vehicle should be left running with the air conditioner running on high. The other option during extreme heat temperatures is leaving your animal at home.

when going shopping.

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