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City urges pet owners to leave furry friends at home after 3 reports of them Tuesday in hot vehicles

With reports of pets and children being left in vehicles across Edmonton during the heatwave, the city is reminding people not to do that because of the extreme danger to life.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) told CTV News Edmonton crews responded Tuesday to calls of three pets and one child being left unattended in vehicles, all in separate incidents.

Since July 1, EFRS has received 24 calls for 24 pets locked in vehicles and five others involving children or adults.

People who leave an animal in a hot vehicle and causing it to be in distress can face fines or charges under the Animal Protection Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.

All pets, especially dogs, are vulnerable when temperatures reach extensive levels such as Edmonton is experiencing now.

The City of Edmonton outlined the dangers of heat to pets and ways to keep them cool in a heatwave in a media release on Wednesday:

  • Dogs left in vehicles, even with the windows down, are at great risk of heatstroke and sunburn. They cannot cool themselves as efficiently as human beings because they sweat differently.
  • It’s best to leave pets at home during hot weather unless you’re heading to a pet-friendly location and returning home shortly after.
  • On seemingly cool days, the temperature inside a vehicle can rise dramatically in minutes. For example, on a 15 C day, the temperature can rise to 28 C within 15 minutes.

Credit: Stephen Dyer/CTV News Edmonton

Signs of animal heat distress

  • Excessive panting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling
  • Weakness, tremors, convulsions
  • Vomiting
  • Reddening and flushing of the skin on the inside of the ears
  • Dry mouth
  • Confusion
  • Fainting
  • Trouble walking

How to help a pet left in a hot vehicle

  • Take down the car’s make, model, licence plate number and exact location.
  • If the dog is in distress, call 9-1-1.
  • If the owner can’t be found nearby, call 3-1-1 and wait by the car for animal control officers to arrive. 

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