This is one of the most frequently asked questions at the PEI Humane Society. A dog that is left in a hot car on a hot day can suffer from heatstroke in a matter of minutes. In order to assess whether or not to call Animal Protection Officers, follow these steps:
- Look around the vehicle. Is the car running? If so, the air conditioning is probably running. If this is the case, monitor the situation and if the dog is in distress, you should call Animal Protection Officers.
- Are the car windows open? How is the temperature today? If the windows are open and the day is not too hot, monitor the situation and if the dog is in distress, you should call Animal Protection Officers.
- If the car is not running and the windows are rolled up, make note of: license plate, vehicle colour, make and model. Call Animal Protection Officers and provide this information immediately.
- Ask managers of nearby businesses to page the owner of the vehicle using the license plate information to return to their vehicle immediately. If the animal is not showing signs of distress, but you are concerned, you can call Animal Protection Officers.
Signs of heatstroke are sometimes hard to identify in dogs. But usually you will notice exaggerated panting or the sudden stopping of panting altogether. The dog may salivate excessively, seem anxious or be seemingly staring into nothing. A dog suffering from heatstroke can sometimes become weak and have muscle tremors. They will lose coordination, suffer from convulsions, vomiting and may collapse. These are all signs to watch for to asses whether a dog is in distress.
If you see a “hot dog” this summer, help our Animal Protection Officers by getting as much information as possible about the dog, vehicle and owner.
You can reach Animal Protection Officers at 902-892-1190.