Ottawa Humane Society warns pet owners of increased danger to pets left in cars as temperatures rise

High temperatures forecasted for Ottawa pose a great danger to pets left alone in cars, warns the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS). “Dogs die in hot cars,” said Bruce Roney, OHS President & CEO. “Temperatures in vehicles rise extremely quickly — even with the windows left open. Pets can quickly overheat, leading to brain damage and even death.”

The temperature hit 30 degrees on Wednesday, and is forecasted to be in the high 20s most of the week. If you see an animal alone in a vehicle with the owner nowhere in sight, dial 911. Signs of heatstroke in dogs include:

  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Heavy panting
  • Lethargy
  • Lack of co-ordination
  • Weakness or muscle tremors
  • Unconsciousness
  • Glazed eyes
  • Convulsions

High temperatures can quickly kill an animal left alone in a car,” said Roney. “If you’re running an errand, leave your pet at home. Don’t take the risk. It’s a choice that could make the difference between life and death for your best friend.”

Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement a full provincial government-based animal welfare enforcement system. The Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act came into effect January 1, 2020 and allows police, First Nations constables and provincial animal welfare inspectors to enter motor vehicles to help pets in distress. The legislation also has the strongest penalties in the country for people who violate animal welfare laws, including causing distress to animals.


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