July 7, 2005, VANCOUVER – “The Heat Is On” is a campaign by The Humane Society of Canada reminding people that this summer often the best place for your pets is a cool shady place like your family home. “Each year many well meaning Canadians take advantage of the summer by bringing their pets with them everywhere they go. We’re asking people to stop and think for a moment,” says Al Hickey, Western Regional Director for the animal charity.



Dogs and cats, and other animals, have a body temperature which is already several degrees higher than our own, and with their coats of fur cannot sweat and cool off as efficiently as we do. “If you think we’re exaggerating, try wear wearing even a light sweater on a hot summer’s day and jogging. Within five minutes, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about,” says HSC Executive Director Michael O'Sullivan whose family has a houseful of dogs and cats.

“We often see people bicycling, jogging, roller blading and skate boarding with their dogs. Even though the dogs seem happy and eager to please, this kind of exertion is very hard on them, especially in hot weather. Don’t confuse the dog’s apparent happiness with something that may be harmful,” says O’Sullivan.

Temperatures in a car, even with the windows rolled down can turn the inside of the car into an oven, putting your animal’s life at risk. Dogs tied up outside of sidewalk cafes and bars, often have no access to shade or water, and nervous by the sounds and smells of strangers and traffic.

The animal charity recommends that the best place on a hot day for your animal is inside your family home, where they have access to plenty of fresh water.

The Humane Society of Canada is asking people to take the time to educate others when they see a pet being put in a potentially dangerous situation and, when necessary, contact the appropriate authorities. People requiring assistance can also contact the Humane Society of Canada, toll-free, at 1-800-641-KIND (5463).

In order to help people prevent animals from suffering from the heat and to help those pets who are suffering, the Humane Society of Canada offers the following advice.


Signs that an animal may be suffering from the heat include: heavy panting, difficulty breathing, vomiting, collapse, increased pulse rate, anxious or staring expression, salivating, weakness, lack of coordination and convulsions. If the animal’s temperature continues to climb the animal will go into a coma and die.


Animals suffering from the heat can be cooled down and helped by doing the following:

  1. Remove the animal from the hot surroundings.
  2. Apply cool water to the animal’s skin by spraying him/her or immersing the animal up to his/her head in water.
  3. Allow the animal to rest in a cool place with small amounts of cold water to drink.
  4. Seek immediate veterinary attention.

You can significantly reduce the chances of your animal companion suffering from the heat by doing the following:

  • Don’t leave pets in a parked vehicle during warm weather – leave them at home.
  • Don’t leave pets unsupervised outside on warm days – leave them indoors as much as possible.
  • Ensure that pets always have access to plenty of clean, fresh water in a non-spillable water bowl.
  • Pets should be kept in safe areas where they have adequate ventilation and good protection from the sun.
  • Don’t allow your pets to overexert themselves. On hot days try walking them in the early morning and/or in the evening when it is cooler.

CONTACT: Michael O'Sullivan by toll free 1-800-641-KIND or Michael on his cell phone (416) 876-9685 or at www.humanesociety.com via twitter at www.twitter.com/HSCanada and on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Humane-Society-of-Canada/211468055538280

[For more than 17 years, Al Hickey was the Chief Executive of the BC SPCA and before that headed up the Alberta and BC Chambers of Commerce, and was the Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Vancouver. He has been The HSC Western Regional Director for over 12 years. He has 4 children and 6 grandchildren. For his lifetime of achievement dedicated to helping people, animals and the environment, we have bestowed upon him our prestigious Heroes for Animals Award, shared by only a handful of people and organizations.

A father with two children, and a houseful of dogs and cats, Michael O'Sullivan has worked across Canada and in over 110 countries during the last 40 years helping people, animals and nature.]

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works to protect dogs, cats, horses, birds, rabbits and small animals, livestock, lab animals, wildlife and the environment. We carry out hands on programs to help animals and nature, mount rescue operations, expose cruelty through hard hitting undercover investigations, work to pass laws to protect animals, use a multidisciplinary approach, support animal shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centres, and spread the word about how to help animals and nature through humane education.

The only organization of its kind, seven days a week, The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) works across the street, across Canada and around the world helping people, animals and the environment.

The Humane Society of Canada (HSC) depends entirely on donations to support our programs to help animals and the environment. All donations are gratefully acknowledged with a receipt for income tax purposes. If you would like to support our educational campaigns that protect animals and the environment please make a donation here. Because when it comes to fighting cruelty and violence, we don’t give up. Ever.