5 Commonly Asked Questions About No Hot Pets
The Ontario SPCA gets questions all the time from the public, so in this blog post we’re going to answer a few more commonly asked ones about our No Hot Pets campaign, and leaving pets in hot cars, to help you out!
1. Is it legal to break a car window if I see an animal in distress?
In Canada, it is illegal to break a window, it is still property damage and anyone can still be held liable for damages. So the risk of prosecution still exists. Even for police and the Ontario SPCA. No one is exempt from the law.
Police and Ontario SPCA investigators are trained to know when to break the window to remove the animal. But they also are held accountable for their actions if it is determined the force was not necessary or excessive. First action for someone seeing a dog in a car is to contact the Ontario SPCA by calling 310-SPCA (7722) or calling local police. Police and the Ontario SPCA have the skills and tools to do this safely, to protect themselves, the animal and the public.
Putting the animal in a car is not the offence. The offence occurs when the animal has been placed in a situation or position that has caused or permits DISTRESS, as it fits the definition under the OSPCA Act, or under the Criminal Code. Officers are trained to read the signs and understand how to respond, and when acting in accordance with the law and are able to articulate using force to remove the animal, and are exercising their authority and have a DUTY under law to protect the animal. The Ontario SPCA also doesn’t encourage breaking into a car because it could also be a danger to the person, either from the action, or repercussion from angry owners. It’s always better to call the proper authorities in.
2. Is it okay to leave my pet in the car if it’s running with the AC on?
We never encourage an animal to be left in a car unattended. Even with the AC going, it’s not worth the risk. Many pets have died as a result of a faulty air-conditioning system.
3. What if I just need to make a quick stop and have to leave my pet in the car?
There is never an excuse for leaving a pet unattended in your vehicle. It’s important to plan your route before you leave, and if you need to deviate from that route, make sure you are able to take your pet with you.
4. I left the car in the shade, and the windows are down. That’s okay, right?
Parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open.
Dogs have a limited ability to sweat; so even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening. A dog’s normal body temperature is about 39°C and a temperature of 41°C can be withstood only for a very short time before irreparable brain damage or even death can occur.
5. Who can I contact with my animal cruelty complaint?
The Ontario SPCA has a hotline at 310-SPCA (7722) that takes calls and dispatches officers when animal cruelty complaints are made. If an SPCA officer is not available, the local police will be contacted to respond to the call. You can also email your complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, go to www.nohotpets.ca & take the pledge. Spread the word, using #NoHotPets on social media and encourage others to pledge too!
For every animal you save
For every animal you save, every animal who feels loved in their last moments, and for everything else you do; thank you and God Bless.