Police: Inside vehicle no place for dog day afternoon

Some West Coast residents and visitors are failing to appreciate the dangers associated with leaving pets locked in vehicles on hot summer days.

Ucluelet police responded to several complaints of animals locked in vehicles over the past two weeks and Const. Marcel Midlane is urging pet owners to take care of

their animals.

“The last thing we want to do is be going to a half dead dog in a car who’s been trapped in there in the sunshine for a while,” he said. “Usually people leave their windows down an inch or two which isn’t enough, an animal should be able to get its head out the window and be able to breathe air from outside.”

He said leaving your pet at home rather than in a parked vehicle is ideal, but anyone

who must leave their dog in their car must leave windows open to allow air to circulate, park in the shade, and make sure there is plenty of cold drinking water available.

He assured police will smash windows to rescue an animal if need be.

“If it’s severe we’ll smash a window for sure to get the dog out of there,” he said.

“If the circumstances are exigent then we would smash the window if not we would call a tow-truck to open it or try to track

the owners down. If the situation is serious enough then, yes, we will damage the vehicle to get into it.”

Anyone who leaves their animal in their car under unsafe conditions could have their animal seized and may wind up facing cruelty to animals charges in court.

Police have fortunately not been forced to break into any vehicles to save pets this summer., he said.