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Langley animal society warns owners to leave pets at home on hot days

Animals suffer in heat more than it may first appear
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LAPS officer checks vehicles at the Costco parking lot for pets suffering from the heat. (Special to The Star)

Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) is reminding pet owners to leave their dogs, cats, and other furry or feathered friends at home as temperatures heat up.

Last week, LAPS officers were out at Costco, Walmart, Willowbrook Shopping Centre, and Fort Langley parking lots checking for pets left in vehicles during the sunny days, and found multiple dogs left in cars who were in visible distress, explained executive director Sarah Jones.

Signs of heat exhaustion include heavy panting, excessive thirst, salivation, glazed eyes, difficulty breathing, lethargy, dizziness, lack of coordination, vomiting, seizures, and loss of consciousness. Hot temperatures can also impact a pet’s organs, sometimes leading to organ failure in severe cases.

Even just a short time in a vehicle on a sunny day can be dangerous, Jones said.

“Leaving the window cracked and the car in the shade is not a saving grace… The sun moves, and you cannot control the length of time you are in the store.”

LAPS officers have been proactively patrolling parts of Langley in recent weeks, particularly on the warmer, sunny days. If they find a pet inside a vehicle, officers will do an assessment of the animal visually, measure the temperature inside the car, and try to find the vehicle or call the police to assist with breaking into the vehicle.

When the pet is removed, it is taken to a veterinarian for an assessment and any treatment it may need.

Jones suggests having someone stay with the pet in the car, but otherwise to just leave them at home when running errands.

She noted that leaving a pet loose in the bed of a pick up truck is also a risk to the pet and the public.

“Legislation requires dogs to be appropriately confined, so unable to fall or jump out of a vehicle. If you leave your dog loose in the pick up, you risk the interaction of the public with your dog – and we have seen many bites occur this way,” she said.

Additionally, a dog locked in a carrier in the bed of a pick up needs access to water and the ability to adjust its position.

“We really just want to encourage people to leave their dogs in the comfort of their home.”

For anyone who sees a pet locked in a car during hot days, LAPS encourages people to call them at 604-857-5055.

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Kyler Emerson

About the Author: Kyler Emerson

I'm honoured to focus my career in the growing community of Aldergrove and work with our many local organizations.
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