TERRACE, BC: As the temperature rises, it’s important for animal owners to think carefully before bringing their pet along for the ride.
“With sunny weather come public concern for animals left unattended inside vehicles. This weekend Terrace RCMP responded to several reports regarding dogs in hot vehicles”, states Cst. Crystal Evelyn, Community Policing/Media Relations Terrace RCMP.
It is never recommended to leave a pet in a vehicle regardless of how long you think you may be. The temperature in a parked car – even in the shade with partly open windows – can reach a level high enough to seriously harm or even kill a pet.
Signs of distress in animals include:
• Exaggerated panting
• Rapid or erratic pulse
• Anxious or staring expression
• Weakness and muscle tremors
• Lack of coordination
• Red or blue tongue and lips
• Convulsions or vomiting
• Collapse or coma
If an animal does not appear to be in distress, do not call police immediately. If an animal is alert, standing upright and barking, they are likely not in distress. If you are concerned about the animal, try to find its owner.
If an animal in a vehicle appears to be in distress:
• Look for the owner of the car. Record the vehicle description and license plate number and go to nearby stores and have the owner paged through the PA system.
• Attempt to provide shade or water for the animal.
• Call Animal Control at 250-615-4031.
• If unable to connect with Animal Control, call the Terrace RCMP at 250-638-7400.
• Stay at the car until the police officer arrives.
• File a report with the BC SPCA online or by calling 1-800-665-1868.
The BC SPCA states that it is illegal for the public to break a window of a vehicle, therefore leave it up to the RCMP or SPCA to decide how to handle the situation or it could cost you to replace it and face other charges.
(Is the animal in distress? Call your local animal control agency, police, or the BC SPCA hotline at 1-855-622-7722 as soon as possible. Note: It is illegal for members of the public to break a window to access the vehicle themselves; only RCMP and Special Provincial Constables of the BC SPCA can lawfully enter a vehicle. SPCA branch staff and volunteers cannot entevehicles.)
Putting an animals at risk, also puts pet owners at risk of receiving a $100 fine under Terrace Animal Control Bylaw 1255-1991: 14.7 Animals Confined in Enclosed Spaces. The Bylaw states, ‘No person shall keep an animal confined in an enclosed space, including a motor vehicle, without access to sufficient ventilation to prevent the animal from suffering discomfort or heat related injury.’
If you have information about crime please contact the Terrace RCMP at (250)638-7400 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1-800-222-TIPS, online at www.terracecrimestoppers.ca or by texting 274637 (CRIMES), then in the body of your text message type TERRACE, followed by your tip information.