A Kelowna woman is issuing a plea to keep pets at home during the heat wave that has descended upon the Okanagan this week.
On Sunday, the woman was visiting a pub in Rutland when she paid her bill, left and returned to her car to find a vehicle next to hers with a dog locked inside.
Due to the reaction of the owners of the vehicle, following the incident, the Kelowna woman has asked not to be named.
She said the windows were down only a couple of inches and while the car was partly in the shade, it was about 30 C outside.
According to the Regional District of the Central Okanagan, it only takes about 10 minutes for disaster to strike if you leave your pet in a vehicle on a hot day.
For example, if it is 26 C outside the car temperatures can reach 10 C hotter, up to 36 C.
According to the Kelowna woman, she monitored the small breed dog for several minutes as it began panting and laying down in the back seat.
She decided to call RCMP and file a complaint, as the owner of the vehicle had still not returned to the car.
“I also went inside the pub and gave the waitress the license plate number to alert the customer who may have been inside, that the police were coming. So, they better get their dog,” she explained.
RCMP did respond to the scene about 20 minutes later and began to investigate when the owner of the vehicle exited the pub. According to the Kelowna woman, the owner of the car, and the dog, was reprimanded by police and the officer did make a record of the incident, although no ticket was issued.
According to Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy from July 24 to 27 Kelowna RCMP responded to seven complaints of hot dogs in vehicles.
A heat warning is in effect for the entire Okanagan, which could experience temperatures upwards of 35 C. The high temperatures will continue through Friday.
This woman’s plea also comes five days after the BC SPCA asked pet owners to participate in a campaign to raise awareness around the dangers of leaving your pet alone in your car on a hot summer day.
Those who take the “No Hot Pets” pledge are asked to not only keep their pets safe this summer but to also warn others about the hazards of leaving animals alone in vehicles.
Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA said the non-profit receives nearly 1,000 calls each year to rescue animals left inside vehicles on hot days.
For dogs left in hot cars, people are asked to call the BC SPCA animal cruelty hotline at 1-855-622-7722.
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