With Cochrane in the middle of our hottest week of the summer so far, extra precautions are needed to make sure everyone stays safe, including dog owners and their pets. Dogs left in vehicles during hot days can be very dangerous and can lead to multiple health risks for the animal.

Community Peace Officer for the Town of Cochrane, Samantha Casselton explains what to do if you spot a dog in an unattended vehicle. “If you do see a dog that you're concerned about in a hot car, feel free to either call municipal enforcement or the RCMP on the non-emergency line to let them know that there is a dog in a hot car. The more information that you have, like the make, model, license plate number, the more helpful it will be.”

“You could even as a member of the public go into that grocery store and speak to whoever's on customer service and ask them to put a page out to the owner of the vehicle and see if you can get them to go back to their vehicle.”

A parked vehicle in 24-degree weather can become 38 degrees inside within the first 10 minutes. After the first half-an-hour, the inside temperature can reach close to 50 degrees celsius. Temperatures this high can quickly become a very dangerous environment for anyone in the vehicle, including your pets.

The temptation to take the situation into your own hands and possibly smash a window to free the animal is not recommended. “That's not something we would recommend, feel free to call the RCMP or ourselves, or even fire services, and we can do that. We would rather that you remained with the animal and kept an eye on the dog until we arrive.”

“First we would call the vehicle owner if we can. If that doesn’t work, we will call the RCMP or fire and gain entry to the vehicle and remove the dog and If it’s required we will take it to a vet. We could also fine the animal owner under the animal protection act.”

The best practice for dog owners during the summer is to leave their pets at home, unless the trip is specifically for the animal.