Despite frequent warnings from law enforcement, dogs are still getting left in hot cars all over the province and the BC SPCA has stepped up with a new campaign to spread awareness.

The #NoHotPets campaign car decals are available online for anyone in the province who signs the pledge to keep their furry friends safe and out of warm or hot vehicles.

“Every year our constables receive hundreds of calls to rescue dogs in distress in hot vehicles,” said BC SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk.

“Sadly, some dogs have already died by the time we are called. It is so tragic because it is a completely preventable death.”

Chortyk says many dog owners don’t realize the dangers of just a few minutes for a dog left in a car.

“Even on a cloudy day, parked in the shade with the windows rolled down, a vehicle can reach temperatures that put animals in peril in just 10 minutes,” she said.

“Dogs can’t release heat from their bodies in the same way that humans can – they can only dissipate heat by panting and through the pads of their paws - so their internal temperatures reach dangerous levels very quickly.”

Chortyk says even with air conditioning, the risks are still high. Air conditioning systems can shut off or fail without warning.

The BC SPCA asks that people who witness a dog locked in a hot car take the following steps:

  1. Note the license plate, vehicle colour, make and model and ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately.
  2. If the animal is in distress, call the police, RCMP, local animal control agency or the BC SPCA
  3. Pay attention to signs of heat stroke like salivation, excessive panting, muscle tremors, convulsions or vomiting, and collapse. If there are signs of heat stroke, the animal should be safely and lawfully moved to a cooler space and given cool water.

The #NoHotPets pledge includes a contact form that can be filled out online. 

No images of the new stickers have been posted online but the organization says it is shipping them to residents of B.C. “while supplies last.”