Jonathon Liedtke – ourWindsor.ca – July 4, 2013
The tragic passing of Maximus Huyskens, the Milton toddler who passed away as a result of heat exposure last week after he was left in a car while being cared for by his grandmother, served as a reminder that the warm summer heat can often times be deadly.
The Windsor/Essex County Humane Society held an event this past afternoon to remind Windsorites that it’s not safe to leave your animal in a parked car during the summer heat.
According to a media release, the Humane Society receives many calls throughout the summer regarding animals who have been left in a parked car.
“Many people know by now to never leave our pets in cars on hot days but some people might not, and sometimes it’s easy to underestimate just how quickly a car can heat up,” said the release. “In under ten minutes the temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with the windows partly open, can rapidly reach a level that will seriously harm or even kill your pet.”
Melanie Coulter, the executive director of the Humane Society explained that the biggest risk for animals is that sometimes, owners who might be well intentioned and believe that they will only be gone for a minute, often take longer than planned.
“In ten minutes, the temperature in a car can get hot enough to cause brain damage or even death,” said Coulter who also explained that while it’s better if the animal is in the car with air conditioning running or if someone is in the car with them, that it still poses a risk.
“There are cases where a car can stall or run out of fuel and then unfortunately in that case … the animal is still in danger,” said Coulter. “It’s much less of a risk, and if you have to leave them in a car, then leaving the car running is probably the safest bet.”
Humane Society officers have the ability to legally enter a vehicle to remove an animal in distress.
“The police have a lot more officers on the road than we do,” said Coulter while explaining that citizens can contact either the police or humane society if they find an animal in distress locked in a car. “Depending on where it is, we will contact the police if we aren’t able to get out there quick enough … a lot of police officers know the dangers of this issues and will address it quickly.”
Coulter noted that it is important to remember in the summer than animals can get over heated and that one of the biggest things to remember is that animals need both shade and plenty of water.
“If it’s too hot for you to be outside, think about trying to be outside in a fur coat and keep that in mind when you’re making decisions for your animals,” said Coulter.
Humane Society holds event to remind residents it’s dangerous to leave animals in the heat
Jonathon Liedtke is the Features & Opinion Editor for the University of Windsor Lance Campus/Community Newspaper and a reporter for ourWindsor.ca. As a founding member and current Co-Chair of the Mayor’s Youth Advisory Committee, he is committed to representing, connecting, engaging with and advocating for local youth. He is also a member of Windsor’s “Punk with Horns” band The Nefidovs, and as such, is committed to enhancing and sustaining the arts community.
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