Langley, leave the dog at home

Unusually warm spring weather has brought with it an increased potential of brush fires, and likewise a heightened danger to dogs being left in vehicles.

“Just don’t do it… don’t leave your dog in the car,” recommended Jenny Ramirez, a senior animal control officer with Langley Animal Protection Society.

“Left in an enclosed vehicle, it would only take a few minutes for it to become very uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous for any dog,” Ramirez said.

“I don’t want to meet any dog owner this way,” she added.

Last Friday, for instance, when the mercury topped out at more than 24-degrees Celsius, LAPS was called to three different situations in Langley shopping areas where dogs were left in an overheated car.

While no dogs have actually died in vehicles in Langley, since LAPS opened in 2003, local residents are hyper-vigilant given the tragic death of six dogs in the back of a Delta woman’s truck last year, said LAPS executive director Sean Baker.

Consequently, he said, the volume of local calls may go up this year. But he’d rather receive those calls, than not.

As soon as temperatures go up to more than 17 degrees, Baker advises people to leave their pets at home from now until the end of September.

Time and time again, LAPS get calls where a pet owners stop at stores or the casino. While they only intend to be inside for a few minutes, they get delayed and suddenly the dog is in jeopardy.

“It can go sideways pretty quickly,” Baker said. “And there’s no need for it.”

While LAPS officers don’t have the time to patrol for such cases, they work with the RCMP to respond to such calls and the warmer weather this spring has meant distress calls are already coming in.

In addition to causing medical distress to the animal, or potential death, the pet owner could face up to a $100 fine.

“We need to get the word out. Bottomline is that if you don’t have to take your dog with you, please don’t,” Baker said.

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