Mountain View Veterinary Hospital has launched a campaign to help keep pets out of hot cars this summer. All summer, the Willowbrook animal hospital is offering free window ‘cling’ signs to any local businesses to let customers know they are welcome to bring their pets inside and not to leave them in a hot car.
“Ideally, when it’s hot out, pets should be left at home but that isn’t always possible,” said Mountain View Dr. Renee Ferguson.
“But if you find yourself with a dog in a car and just need to run into a business for a minute, wouldn’t it be nice if you could take them inside with you so they, too, can enjoy the air conditioning?” said Ferguson.
“That’s why we decided to make up these easy pet-friendly business signs in hopes businesses will post them on the front door to let customers know.”
The window cling signs are also available at the Patti Dale Animal Shelter in Aldergrove.
“Every summer we see needless pet fatalities caused by people leaving them in a hot car. It is an extremely dangerous situation because animals can suffer heat stroke, brain damage and even die if left in a hot car,” Ferguson said.
LAPS executive director Jayne Nelson said every summer they get numerous calls about dogs left in hot cars.
“We are really supportive of this initiative and we also encourage pet owners to take the online pledge to keep dogs from hot cars,” said Nelson. “Even 18 degrees Celsius is too hot to leave a dog in a car.”
If the outside temperature is 21 degrees Celsius, within 10 minutes the inside of a vehicle can heat up to 31 degrees. With an outside temperature of 26 degrees, the inside of a car can be 37.2 degrees within 10 minutes and 48 degrees within 30 minutes.
Mountain View vet hospital’s neighbour is Master Green dry cleaners. They were the first business to put on the new pet-friendly business signs.
“My parents love dogs and love our Snoopy,” said Kirin Dhaliwal, of Master Green dry-cleaning. “We would be happy to have a dog come in from a hot vehicle when they are dropping off or picking up dry-cleaning. We hope other businesses will get on board, too.”
Snoopy, their Bichon-Shitzu cross, is not only a regular at the drycleaners but a patient of Ferguson’s.
Mountain View and Dr. Ferguson are no strangers to community initiatives. Mountain View launched the pet oxygen masks fundraiser, managing to outfit several municipal fire halls and their fire trucks with oxygen masks that fit small, animal mouths.
Already, those pet oxygen masks have been used on a number of occasions, including in Langley last August, when several kittens were saved from a house fire using the masks.
Dr. Ferguson has also helped TinyKittens, a cat rescue group based out of Fort Langley. They have even live-streamed spay and neuter and other operations to spread awareness of the importance of caring for your cats.
So, what do you do if you see a pet in a hot car?
You aren’t allowed to break in to rescue a pet, say the SPCA.
Ask nearby stores to page the customer with that vehicle description.
If the pet appears to be in distress, call Langley Animal Protection Society at 604-857-5055 or SPCA’s animal cruelty hotline at 1-855-622-7722 or local police.