BC SPCA is reminding pet owners to not leave their four-legged companions in their vehicles this summer. (Contributed photo)

BC SPCA is reminding pet owners to not leave their four-legged companions in their vehicles this summer. (Contributed photo)

BC SPCA receives 400 reports of dogs in hot cars so far this year

Society is again urging people to leave their pets at home if they can’t keep them safe in the heat

The BC SPCA has already received 400 reports of dogs in hot cars so far this year.

That’s compared to about 1,000 reports for all of last year 2017.

With the recent heat hitting B.C., the society is again reminding people to leave their pets at home if they can’t keep them safe.

“People don’t realize just how quickly their cars can become death traps for their pets,” spokesperson Lorie Chortyk said in a news release on Wednesday.

“It can take as little as 10 minutes for the vehicle to reach temperatures where the animal can suffer irreparable brain damage or death.

READ MORE: Heat records broken across B.C. during first heat wave of 2018

“We know that if people are taking their pets with them, it’s because they love them and want to spend time with them, but we really do encourage pet guardians to please, leave their pets at home when they’re going out in the car.”

If you see a dog in a parked vehicle on a hot day, the BC SPCA suggests noting the licence plate and vehicle information and asking managers of nearby businesses to page the owner to return to their vehicle immediately.

If that doesn’t work, and the animal is in distress, the society says to call 911, local animal control or the BC SPCA hotline at 1-855-622-7722.

It is illegal for to break a window to access the vehicle yourself. The RCMP and special provincial constables with the SPCA are the only people who can lawfully enter a vehicle in this case.