Guelph, ON (June 17, 2024) As temperatures soar this week, the Guelph Humane Society (GHS) is issuing a critical reminder to all pet owners about the dangers of leaving dogs, and other pets, in hot cars. With the risk of heatstroke and even death, it is essential to understand the severe consequences of leaving pets unattended in vehicles, even for short periods of time. 

“With the high temperatures we are expecting this week, the decision to leave your pet in a hot car can be fatal in a matter of minutes,” says Lisa Veit, Executive Director, GHS. “Dogs are particularly vulnerable because they cannot regulate their own body temperature, they quickly can suffer from heatstroke, which can quickly cause organ failure and death.” 

This is why GHS has launched the “Love means leaving me at home!” campaign to help raise awareness about safe pet care practices this summer. 

“Leaving a pet in a hot car, even in the shade or with the windows left open, is dangerous and irresponsible,” says Lisa Veit, Executive Director, GHS.  “We urge all pet owners to be vigilant and take the necessary precautions to protect their furry friends during the hot weather months.” 

Signs of heat distress in dogs include excessive panting or drooling, lethargy or uncoordinated movement, vomiting or diarrhea, and collapse or unconsciousness. 

“The safest place for your pets is at home, especially during hot weather,” says Veit. “If you must travel with your pet, plan stops where they can be taken out of the car and kept cool. We also encourage everyone to spread awareness about the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars and to help reduce risks and accidental deaths.” 

Pet owners are subject to charges under the Provincial Animal Welfare Services Act, which can be laid by police or Provincial Animal Welfare Inspectors, and penalties can include fines and imprisonment.  Additionally, pet owners may also face hefty fines for violation of municipal bylaws. Veit adds, “to report an animal left unattended in a hot vehicle, call your local police or humane society.  If you see an animal in immediate danger, call 911.”  


Photo credit: Abigail Heckbert
Social Assets: Love means leaving me at home

About the Guelph Humane Society: 

The Guelph Humane Society advocates for all animals, and in particular those animals whose lives it can influence, through care, education, community support, protection, and leadership. Founded in 1893, the Guelph Humane Society provides care and shelter for approximately 3,000 homeless, stray, injured and abused animals each year in Guelph and Wellington County. GHS is a registered charitable, non-profit organization that does not receive government funding. Visit to discover more. 

Follow GHS on social:  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok: @guelphhumane 

Media Contact: 
Jane Dawkins 
Director Communications and Community Engagement 
Guelph Humane Society