What to do if you see a dog in a hot car

As Lethbridge hit record temperatures on Monday afternoon, people are reminded to not leave their pets unattended in hot cars. We spoke with the local authorities to hear what they have to say on the matter.

Sadly, animals being left in boiling hot cars still happens every summer, and can easily become fatal for your four-legged friend.  Skylar Plourde with Lethbridge Animal Services says that it is not illegal to leave a dog in a vehicle, period, but there are laws in place that do not allow people to put an animal into a situation where it becomes distressed.
And should you encounter a dog left in a vehicle, there are the signs of distress you should look out for.
So what are your legal rights if you need to smash a window to rescue an overheated dog?  Staff Sergeant Mark Smallbones with the Lethbridge Police Service says that it depends on the situation.  You could face a civil suit or even criminal charges and have to justify your actions before a judge.
Some positive news from Lethbridge Animal Services is that the number of calls they receive for animals left in hot cars tends to go down during extreme waves of heat. Plourde adds that the number of calls tend to peak when temperatures climb above 25 degrees.  If you witness a human in distress, call 911 immediately.  For an animal, phone Lethbridge Animal Services or call 911.

Naveen Day

Naveen came to Lethbridge in 2018 with experience in broadcast spanning over 20 years. In Winnipeg, he produced two factual entertainment shows for Shaw and Bell MTS prior to his move to Southern Alberta where he quickly ventured out into the world of journalism at Bridge City News. Naveen has a passion for producing thought-provoking and informative news pieces that answer questions we all have in the back of our minds.

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