Constable Julie Campbell and her colleagues have heard all the excuses.
"They range from, 'I’ll only be five minutes…I left the window open…it’s not that hot outside…and I parked in the shade to I am just running into a store quickly, my dog has a thin coat, the sun is not even out and I will keep my eye on him.'”
Tired of the attempted justification and apologies and concerned about animal safety, 43 Division and the Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (OSPCA) to launch Operation VALUE (Vulnerable Animals Left Unattended Everyday).
In the next eight weeks, officers – with the support of Auxiliary officers, Youth In Policing Initiative (YIPI) students assigned to the Division and provincial OSPCA officers – will be handing out literature and window stickers alerting motorists to the dangers of leaving their pets in hot vehicles.
The campaign was launched on July 9 at the Scarborough Town Centre parking lot.
“This is all about raising awareness,” said Campbell. “We want people to get the message that it’s not cool to leave a pet in a hot vehicle. There are consequences. We are also asking motorists who leave their vehicles to have a look inside their neighbour’s car and, if they see a pet inside, they should gave us a call.”
We want people to get the message that it’s not cool to leave a pet in a hot vehicle. There are consequences.
SPCA investigations & communications officer Brad Dewar said there is no good excuse for leaving a pet in a vehicle unattended.
“The flyers we are handing out have pertinent information about the laws that are in place to protect animals,” he said. “Leavings pets unattended in vehicles in hot weather is a problem that just doesn’t seem to go way. Ultimately, people need to be responsible pet owners and leave their pets at home. If anyone is out and about and notices an animal unattended, they should call us or their local police service.”
YIPI student Kaitlin Cimbron was excited to be part of the operation.
“We want people to know they should not leave their dogs and other pets locked up in vehicles.”
Anyone seeing pets left unattended in vehicles should call 310-SPCA or the non-emergency police phone number at 416-808-2222. Anyone seeing pets in distress in a vehicle should phone 310-SPCA or 9-1-1.