Nanaimo RCMP are reminding the public of the risks to animals that result from being left in cars. This after officers responded to several calls of dogs left in vehicles. 

Fortunately, all of the calls were resolved without incident, and the animals are still alive and well.

However, last weekend the Central Island Veterinary Emergency Hospital reported four deaths of dogs who suffered from heatstroke, so the heat can be lethal.

The RCMP say a vehicle parked in the sun in a 35 degree temperature can reach an internal temperature of 46 degrees within ten minutes.

He says there’s several things you can look for, if you notice an animal in a parked car.

Constable Gary O’Brien says, “In many cases, a dog is heard barking and can be seen jumping up and down. This in itself is not necessarily a sign that the animal is in imminent distress. It does however result in police being called to assist.”

Checking if the vehicle is in direct sunlight, if there is airflow and a water source, and checking how the animal is behaving. 

Signs that the animal is behaving oddly could be lying down, panting, barking, vomiting, lethargy, or appearing to have lost its coordination. 

If the animal isn’t showing any of these signs, but you are still concerned, O’Brien says you can stay by the vehicle to monitor the situation until the owner returns.

He adds that you make sure you note specifics about the vehicle – including license plates, make, model, and vehicle colour.

O’Brien reminds that only certain agencies, like police, are allowed to forcibly enter a car to enter a vehicle.

If you see a pet in a vehicle showing clear signs of distress, call 911, or the non-emergency line at 250-754-2345.  More tips on how to care for your pets in the heat can be found here.