RCMP are seeing an increase in calls with regards to pets left in cars.

A pet owner was hit with the maximum fine after police and animal control officials rescued a dog from a hot car in downtown Victoria yesterday (Wed).

A bystander said the dog had been left in the car, with one window partially opened, for at least an hour.

Animal control arrived and jimmied open the car door to get the small white dog out of the vehicle.

The owner was issued a maximum fine of 200 dollars for not giving the animal protection from the sun, and another 250 dollar ticket for not leaving water inside the vehicle.

RCMP are advising the public against taking action against other people’s property or their animals.

The BCSPCA says while most people mean well when they say they’d be willing to break a glass window to get an animal out of a roasting vehicle, it’s strongly recommended you don’t.

Only RCMP, local police, and BC SPCA Special Constables have the authority to enter a vehicle lawfully to help a pet in distress.

Not only are you putting yourself at risk when you break a glass window, but you also risk harming the dog.

If you see a dog in a hot car, note the license plate, vehicle colour, make and model and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately;

If the animal is in distress, call your local animal control agency, police, RCMP or the BC SPCA hotline at 1-855-622-7722 as soon as possible.

The call centre is open seven days a week, Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, and Saturdays and Sunday between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

Emergencies outside of those hours should be reported to your local police department or RCMP.