‘Paws’ and think twice before leaving pets in hot car

The Ontario government is urging everyone to take the necessary precautions to keep their pets safe and protected during the hot summer months.

Temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly become hotter than the temperature outside even if windows are left slightly open. Pets can be put at risk of serious illness and possibly death due to heat exposure as a result of being left in a vehicle. If pets cannot leave the car and go with their owners, then leave them at home where they will be safe, cool, and comfortable.

“Animal owners have a responsibility to provide the proper care for their pets. Leaving a pet unattended in a hot car is irresponsible and can put an animal’s life in danger,” Solicitor General Sylvia Jones said. “It is important that we take the necessary precautions to protect our pets from the heat. I am proud that Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement a full provincial animal welfare enforcement system to enhance animal safety and ensure strong penalties for those who commit acts of animal cruelty.”

The Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act came into effect January 1, 2020 and allows police, First Nations constables and provincial animal welfare inspectors to enter motor vehicles to help pets in distress. The legislation also has the strongest penalties in the country for people who violate animal welfare laws, including causing distress to an animal.

If an individual sees an animal in a hot car in distress and is concerned the animal’s life is in danger, call 911 immediately as this is an emergency. Members of the public should not attempt to enter a vehicle in these situations.

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