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Dog in distress rescued from hot parked truck in Vancouver

"If you love them, don't leave them."
Photo: Dog in hot car / Getty Images

Vancouver Police say two men rescued a dog in distress after it was left in a hot truck Sunday afternoon. 

Community Police Officer Jason Doucette tweeted about the incident, stating that two men rescued a dog in distress from a parked truck Sunday afternoon and called police. He adds that you should, "Never leave your pet in a hot parked vehicle, for any amount of time." 

Doucette also shared an image that reads: "If you love them, don't leave them," and "Hot cars kill pets."

VPD Spokesperson Sergeant Aaron Roed tells Vancouver Is Awesome in a phone call that the incident took place at around 2:45 p.m. on June 28 near Pacific St. and Thurlow St. He says that the two men realized that the dog was in distress and were able to remove it from the vehicle through a window. They also provided the animal with water and air while they waited for police to arrive.

While the dog appeared to be in good health after the incident, Roed says he can't comment on its condition at this time. 

Lorie Chortyk, General Manager of Community Relations at the BC SPCA, tells V.I.A. in a phone call that the SPCA receives thousands of calls each year about pets trapped in hot cars. In May alone, she says the organization received 200 calls about dogs in hot cars. 

“We know that people love their pets and would never knowingly put them in danger, but many pet guardians are just unaware of how quickly their pets can suffer when left in a vehicle in warm weather,” says Chortyk. “Even parked in the shade, with windows cracked open, the temperatures inside a vehicle can become deadly.”

She notes that because dogs don’t “sweat” like humans and can’t release heat from their bodies as quickly, they can succumb to heatstroke and heat exhaustion in a short period of time. “Some dogs, including senior pets and those with flatter faces, experience even more challenges in hot weather.” 

Signs of heat stroke include exaggerated panting, rapid or erratic pulse, salivating, anxious or staring expression, weakness or lack of coordinated, vomiting, convulsions and collapse.

This month, BC SPCA is calling on all animal lovers to take a No Hot Pets pledge to keep their pets safe this summer and to warn others of the dangers of leaving animals in their vehicles. 

If you see a dog in a car in hot weather, the BC SPCA recommends taking the following steps:

  1. If the animal is showing clear signs of heatstroke or distress, call your local animal control agency, police, RCMP or the BC SPCA Call Centre at 1-855-622-7722. Do not attempt to break a window to rescue an animal – not only do you risk injuring the animal, but only RCMP, local police and BC SPCA Special Constables have the authority to enter a vehicle lawfully to help an animal.
  2. If the animal is not in distress, but you are concerned, note the license plate and vehicle description and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately. You may wish to stay with the vehicle to monitor the situation until the owner returns.

The BC SPCA is now in charge of the investigation and the story will be updated when more information becomes available.