After the hot and humid weekend, and as the summer weather is approaching, Kingston Police strongly advise against leaving children or pets inside a vehicle, even for what is initially perceived to be a short period of time.
Police alone are receiving one to two calls a day on average in relation to pets, and this may not include additional calls to the Official Ontario SPCA Page (OSPCA). Temperatures can still soar upwards from 40 to 60 degrees Celsius inside a vehicle even when parked in the shade or if the windows are slightly lowered. Parents or pet owners can also become distracted and lose track of time.
While some vehicle owners feel leaving a pet in a vehicle with the air conditioning running is a solution, this would be in contravention of the City of Kingston idling by-law if left for more than five minutes, gives an opportunity for theft if the keys are left inside, and provides a false sense of safety in that air conditioners or engines can fail.
If a person has concern for a pet locked inside a vehicle they are asked to first attempt to contact a local OSPCA representative by calling their provincial-wide toll-free number of 310-SPCA (7722). No area code is required; just dial the seven-digit number. If unsuccessful in reaching the organization, or if based upon the circumstances the person feels a delay in response may endanger the animal, then citizens can contact Kingston Police at 613-549-4660.
Police discourage concerned citizens from attempting to force entry into a locked vehicle themselves so as to avoid injury, possible confrontation with the vehicle/pet owner, and even criminal or civil litigation. Kingston Police members are trained, have legislative authority to gain entry, and unaware of a pet being harmed or killed from heat due to a delay in emergency response.
A YouTube video, embedded below, posted by a veterinarian who places himself in a hot vehicle is a good example of how quickly temperatures can rise, even when the windows are partially lowered: (Watch on Youtube)
The recent OSPCA campaign of “No Excuses. No Hot Pets” can also be found below: (Watch on Youtube)
Lastly, the public is encouraged to take the OSPCA pledge of #NoHotPets at http://www.nohotpets.ca.
Release source: Kingston Police