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As temperatures rise, so does the risk to pets in cars, warn veterinarians and police | CBC News


High temperatures have prompted heat warnings across much of Newfoundland and Labrador in recent days — giving an annual reminder from veterinarians not to leave pets in parked cars greater urgency.

Veterinarian Dr. Maggie Brown-Bury says a dog left in a parked car on a hot day will not likely last long.

“And a cracked window with wind outside won’t do anything to alleviate those risks unless the air conditioner in the car is on,” she said Wednesday.

In that situation, Brown-Bury said, an animal’s body uses all its resources to combat the extreme heat, and the longer internal organs are exposed to the heat inside the car, the more likely they are to fail.

The health risks range from vomiting and passing out to permanent kidney or brain damage and seizures.

“If you see a dog lying inside a car on a hot day, you can check if it’s OK by knocking on the window,” she said. “The dog should respond. If they don’t, they may be in serious condition.”

But Brown-Bury and the police are discouraging people from breaking into cars to save animals. Instead, people should try to find the owner, call the local town or city hall, or call the police.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary has posted a reminder to pet owners on social media, and though he didn’t say how many reports they’ve received in total this year, RNC Const. James Cadigan did say they’ve received three reports of pets left in cars in just one morning earlier this week.

“If you are going to run errands and want to bring your pet along, and they are going to be left unattended in your vehicle, that’s a risk to their safety,” he said Wednesday.

Cadigan said the RNC will investigate complaints under the Animal Health and Protection Act, and pet owners who leave their animals in hot cares could be charged with negligence.

Brown-Bury says she hasn’t seen many cases of dogs requiring medical attention due to hot cars, which she attributes to alert passersby.

“More people are talking about it, reporting to the RNC, posting online so there is more awareness,” she said.

Both Cadigan and Brown-Bury says that if people know they can’t bring their pets inside a certain location, the best option is to leave them at home.

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador


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