STOUFFVILLE, Ontario, Aug. 31, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Summer might be winding down, but the Ontario SPCA wants to remind pet owners that cooler weather doesn’t mean it’s safe to leave pets unattended in vehicles as you hit the road to enjoy the final long weekend of the summer.

Parked cars can quickly reach deadly temperatures, even on relatively mild days with the car parked in the shade and the windows slightly open. Dogs have a limited ability to sweat, so even a short time in a hot environment can be life-threatening. A dog's normal body temperature is about 39°C and a temperature of 41°C can be withstood only for a very short time before irreparable brain damage or even death can occur.

To educate the public about the dangers of leaving pets unattended in vehicles during the summer months, the Ontario SPCA kicked off its 2017 No Hot Pets Campaign in May, in partnership with SPCAs and humane societies from across Canada.

Pet owners are asked to go online to and pledge to never leave their pets in their vehicles. Those who pledge will receive a free No Hot Pets window decal for their vehicles, while supplies last. Through the No Hot Pets online forum, people are also encouraged to share the dangers of leaving pets in vehicles using the hashtag #nohotpets.

“Whether you’re heading to the cottage, visiting friends and family, running errands, or getting the kids ready to go back to school, it’s never okay to leave an animal in a vehicle,” says Jennifer Bluhm, Deputy Chief, Ontario SPCA. “Leave your pet at home, and if you must take your pet make sure that someone is with it at all times.”

If you observe an animal suffering in the heat, call 310-SPCA (7722) or your local police.

Ontario SPCA and Humane Society:

Protecting animals since 1873, Ontario SPCA is Ontario's Animal Welfare organization. A registered charity comprised of close to 50 communities.

Since 1919, when Ontario's first Animal Welfare legislation was proclaimed, the Ontario SPCA, with the help of its Communities, has been entrusted to maintain and enforce Animal Welfare legislation. The Act provides Ontario SPCA Agents and Inspectors with police powers to do so.

Ontario SPCA provides leadership in animal welfare innovations including introducing high-volume spay/neuter services to Ontario and opening the Provincial Education and Animal Centre.

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Kallie Milleman          
Ontario SPCA