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Man charged for leaving dog in hot vehicle

RCMP Const. Patrick Vallee responded to a call for a dog locked inside a hot truck on July 31. C. Gilbert photo

A 46-year-old man faces charges under the Animal Protection Act after leaving his dog unattended in a hot truck on July 31.

Around 6 p.m. police received multiple calls about a dog being locked in a hot truck on Connaught Drive.

Upon arrival RCMP Const. Patrick Vallee saw that the windows were rolled up and the dog didn’t have access to any water. Noticing the sunroof was open he was able to use the opening to determine that it was extremely hot inside the truck.

Multiple attempts were made to contact the owner of the truck, but he could not be located so Jasper Towing was called to help unlock the doors.

Just as the doors were unlocked and the dog was removed from the truck the owner arrived on scene.

As a result a 46-year-old man from Red Deer was charged under the Animal Protection Act for failing to protect an animal from injurious heat. He is scheduled to appear in Jasper Provincial Court on Oct. 12.

The police want to remind the public not to leave animals or children in vehicles when it’s hot out.

“This situation shows that leaving windows cracked open or the sunroof open won’t make any difference and that the temperature will still significantly increase in a short period of time,” wrote Const. Vallee.

A person who commits an offence under the Animal Protection Act must appear before court and can face a fine up to $20,000. The court could also issue an order restraining the owner from continuing to have custody of an animal for a certain period of time.

Police would also like to emphasize that under the Animal Protection Act only a sworn peace officer is authorized to take any actions he/she considers necessary to enter a vehicle and remove an animal from it in an emergency situation.

“There is a myth out there saying that when a dog is locked inside a vehicle, anybody can break the window and save the dog. People have to be very careful because depending on the situation a person breaking a window and removing a dog from a vehicle could potentially face charges,” wrote Const. Vallee.

“The best course of action in a case where an animal is locked in a hot vehicle is to immediately contact police or bylaw.”

Paul Clarke

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