It was close to 42 C inside the closed van and the dogs were suffering

Brian McInnis
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The air temperature outside the van was approximately 28 C (82.4 F) and for 90 minutes seven dogs inside were struggling as the temperature steadily rose higher in the vehicle and if not rescued soon it would not be a good outcome.

Fortunately, a passerby alerted the Charlottetown Police Services and the P.E.I Humane Society and the dogs were rescued. The owners of the out of province van parked it on Prince Street Monday and had draped a shield over some of the windows, but a humane society inspector who was at the scene said it offered very little in the way of shade.

Studies have shown that when the air temperature reaches 28 C outside the vehicle it can be 42 C inside (109 F).

A witness at the scene saw some of the people arguing over whose responsibility it was to look after the animals. The medium sized dogs were seized and taken to a veterinarian where they received medical help and then returned to their owners, said Geoff Barrett, animal protection officer with the humane society.

“We did seize the dogs and they were checked by a veterinarian before they were returned to the owners after payment of some fees.” He said there will be no legal action taken against the family.

Barrett said it is “very unsafe to leave dogs in hot cars because the car can heat up so quickly and can go up 15 degrees in a matter of about five or 10 minutes…and because dogs don’t have the ability to sweat to keep themselves cool as humans do it becomes very dangerous very fast.” He said people would not leave their children in hot cars and the same should apply for animals.

it is “very unsafe to leave dogs in hot cars because the car can heat up so quickly and can go up 15 degrees in a matter of about five or 10 minutes Geoff Barrett, animal protection officer

With the heat of summer finally arriving, Barrett said the humane society has had recent reports of animals left in hot cars and fortunately there have been no serious injuries. But with the high heat that can quickly change.

He said if anyone sees an animal in distress in a parked car the best approach would be to call police or humane society at any time of the day or night.

According to the AccuWeather website, short-wave energy from the sun enters vehicles through the relatively transparent nature of their windows. The internal objects in the automobile heat the air inside and give off long-wave energy, which is not able to escape from the vehicle.

Children and animals are less able to handle this extreme heat than adults and are more susceptible to hyperthermia.

Hyperthermia, a medical emergency when the body produces or absorbs more heat that is can dissipate, can lead to brain damage, kidney failure and death.

Experts say that even leaving the windows open a little is of little help in keeping the interior cool.



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Recent comments

  • Pat Srebrnik
    July 02, 2014 - 07:33

    I do not understand: SEVEN dogs? People who have so many dogs must be dog lovers ....surely they knew better than to leave them in a car in such heat?

  • Dog Lover
    July 02, 2014 - 01:44

    Well I guess I will be the one getting the fine or jail,because if I see this the windows are going to be smashed out and the owner will get a complimentary punch in the face.

  • Paula Stein
    July 02, 2014 - 00:00

    Why are the idiot owners getting their dogs back? Without a fine? Without any consequences? This is outrageous!! If people don;t know by now that dogs in cars in summer is deadly, they should NOT own a dog!

  • Liberal meal deal
    July 01, 2014 - 20:38

    When I come to a scene like this Im calling nobody,just going to be some smashed closed,wake up people use your brain, Geeeseus.

  • How It Is
    July 01, 2014 - 14:57

    People. Listen up. They were not charged because there is nothing to charge them with. If you feel there should be then write letters to your MLA. Speak up or stop complaining.

  • indigo
    July 01, 2014 - 13:44

    So why is it that the dogs were returned to the owners? And who paid the vet bill? When endangering a life like this the animals should be put in the custody of SPCA until a stiff fine is paid and the "owners" go through a course re dogs in hot cars.

  • reality
    July 01, 2014 - 12:15

    i'm getting sick of dogs and their owners !!!the people next door just love their dogs!!!they praise them and talk about them etc. etc-most of the neighbours think the dogs are a nuisance -crapping -barking,roaming, whining and in general being an annoyance !!!

    • Just That Way
      July 01, 2014 - 14:55

      My neighbor is the same kind of nuisance. Very annoying.

  • What?
    July 01, 2014 - 06:24

    I ask the same as others. Why would they give these dogs back to these owners? This was probably not the first time they have done this and I am sure not the last time. Disgusting!!

  • Melissa
    July 01, 2014 - 04:51

    Why were these people not charged with anything? So they paid a few fines,big deal. They gave the dogs back, that was just wrong. They were from out of province. Who's to say they wont do this again somewhere else and worse things happen to these poor dogs? There really should be stricter punishments for people like this.

  • SStewart
    July 01, 2014 - 04:46

    RETURNED TO OWNERS ?? WTF ?? IT says for 90 minutes seven dogs inside were struggling as the temperature steadily rose higher in the vehicle and if not rescued soon it would not be a good outcome. GEOFF BARRETT should comment further - Why would these animals be returned?? What a SAD STORY

  • justin
    July 01, 2014 - 04:09

    I believe these dogs were here with the owners for a dog show. have to wonder just what kind of people show dog owners are.

  • Joe Doe
    July 01, 2014 - 02:36


  • Candice
    June 30, 2014 - 22:18

    Are you sure the sheet wasn't put there to hide the dogs because they knew what they were doing was wrong?!?!

  • Stacey
    June 30, 2014 - 21:46

    So these poor dogs will be dead!!!!! sickened

  • sammy
    June 30, 2014 - 20:41

    I would not hesitate to take out a window in a vehicle if I came across something like this. How can ppl be so dumb.

  • Stan Hope
    June 30, 2014 - 20:11

    How STUPID can you be ... this STUPID I guess. Nice going Griswald's !

  • J
    June 30, 2014 - 19:55

    Why were these people allowed to have their dogs back? Hope they dont have children.

    June 30, 2014 - 19:37

    They gave the dogs back to their owners? The ones who almost killed them???

  • Sharyn Mitchell
    June 30, 2014 - 19:11

    Why were these dogs returned to these people and why were no charges laid?????