Dangers of Leaving Your Dog In A Parked Car - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Dangers of Leaving Your Dog In A Parked Car


Dogs seem to be everywhere if you travel around Ontario. Many restaurants now allow dogs to accompany their owners at outdoor dining areas. Taking Fido with you everywhere you go might be popular, but there are risks particularly when your dog is not a welcome visitor and must be left unattended in the car. Humane societies across the country respond to calls for assistance from people concerned about dogs left in parked vehicles. Endangering a dog by leaving it in a parked car is a violation of Ontario law.

Parked cars pose a danger to your dog

As a general rule, dog owners love their pets and would never intentionally do anything to put them at risk of being harmed, but leaving a dog alone in a parked car, even for only a few minutes, could cause the animal to suffer brain damage. Dogs do not sweat to keep their bodies cool as do their human owners. Instead, dogs pant to maintain safe internal body temperatures.

Even with its windows opened to allow air to circulate, the interior temperature of a car can quickly rise to temperatures exceeding 40 C. At such extreme temperatures, panting and breathing in hot air causes a dog’s internal body temperature to rise. If a dog does not die from the heat, it could suffer brain damage.

Ontario law protecting dogs in distress

The Ontario Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act makes it unlawful to leave your dog in a parked vehicle if doing so causes or permits the animal to be in distress. Police or SPCA investigators have authority under the law to take action against to save the animal. Pet owners could face substantial fines.

Some municipal governments in Ontario have enacted local laws protecting dogs from the dangers posed by exposure to extreme weather conditions during winter months. The City of Mississauga law prohibits owners from leaving their dogs outside and unattended during the winter without providing adequate shelter to protect them from ice, freezing temperatures and snow. Fines for violating the law could be as high as $25,000.

Recognizing signs that a dog is in distress

It is important for everyone, and not only owners of pets, to be capable of recognizing the signs of heat stroke and know when to call the police for help. The following behaviours could indicate a dog is suffering from heat stroke and is in distress:

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Weakness
  • Muscle twitching
  • Dazed or anxious appearance
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Dogs exhibiting signs of heat stroke should be removed to a cool place out of direct sunlight. Soak towels in cool water and apply them to the dog’s body to lower its internal body temperature. Do not apply ice or very cold water to the animal as this could be too much of a shock. Allow the dog to drink water, but do not force it to do so. Take your dog to a veterinarian for a complete examination to rule out serious damage to internal organs and to receive additional treatment as needed.

Ontario personal injury lawyers

The personal injury lawyers at Diamond and Diamond have years of experience successfully handling claims for compensation on behalf individuals injured through the fault of others. Learn more about your right to recover compensation by speaking with one of our lawyers. Call the Diamond and Diamond 24/7 injury hotline at 1-800-567-HURT or visit our website to speak to someone now. We have offices located throughout Ontario offering free consultations and case evaluations to injury victims and their families.

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