As B.C.’s hot summer continues, Nanaimo RCMP want to make sure the general public is aware of what to do if they find a dog or pet unattended in a parked car.
“We understand and appreciate how the public must feel when they see an animal left unattended in a parked vehicle,” said Cst. Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP in a release.
“Of the 13 calls for service since June 1, 2023, all were resolved successfully without any injury to the animal or causing damage to the vehicle.”
Nanaimo RCMP also clarified that Animal Control and the SPCA do not have authority over removing a pet in distress from a vehicle and will contact the RCMP if that is required.
Members of the public are asked to follow a checklist with the following criteria before contacting police.
- Is the vehicle parked in the direct sun (feel the hood), is there some shade?
- Are the windows down, does the animal have airflow and water?
- How long have you observed the animal for?
- How is animal behaving? (panting, lying down, barking, vomiting, etc.)
- Have you tried to find the owner by going to nearby stores, having the owner paged by vehicle description and plate number, inquiring with nearby pedestrians or others?
O’Brien also added that if an animal is observed shaking uncontrollably, appears lethargic or has lost coordination, it most likely requires immediate attention from RCMP.
The City of Nanaimo has a bylaw in place in the event an animal is left inside of a vehicle without sufficient ventilation or shade. If the operator of the vehicle is found liable they are subject to a $500 fine and their animal could be seized.
Any further questions about spotting an animal in distress or caring for an animal can be directed to Nanaimo Animal Control.
Nanaimo RCMP recommend that pet owners leave their animals at home during the hot days of summer.