By Adam Williams
Kamloops This Week
People just aren’t getting it — pets don’t belong locked in cars.
That’s the message from Kamloops SPCA branch manager Charleen Holloway, who said her organization has already been receiving hot-dog calls for roughly four weeks.
Despite increased advocacy and awareness on the issue, the numbers have remained consistent with those of years past.
“We’re not seeing a decrease, which we would expect with all the media awareness,” Holloway said.
“It’s very frustrating and disappointing.”
Holloway said the SPCA has made an effort to use a variety of mediums to communicate the dangers of locking animals in vehicles, to no avail.
Even though more people are talking about the issue, and residents have started approaching vehicle owners to discuss the danger they’ve placed their pet in, the SPCA’s numbers have remained stable.
“I don’t think they realize how detrimental and deadly it can be,” Holloway said.
She believes a lack of enforcement measures with real teeth makes it difficult to change the behaviours of pet owners around the Tournament Capital. While RCMP officers can remove pets from vehicles if they are deemed to be in distress, the situation must reach a dangerous level before that route is taken.
Should the City of Kamloops move on the idea of allowing bylaw officers to fine residents for locking dogs in their vehicles, Holloway believes meaningful change will result.
But, with temperatures in Kamloops higher than normal for this time of year, future changes don’t help animals in the city now.
Visible on the surface or not, Holloway can’t stress it enough — the dangers of leaving an animal in a locked vehicle are very real.
“You can lose your family pet because you didn’t leave it at home and put it in a car, where it doesn’t want to be, anyways,” she said.
“It’s damage to the organs. So, while you might not see it right now, it might be long-term damage down the road.”