Ontario Has Stiffer Laws For Leaving Your Pet in Hot Car

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Keep Pets Safe this Summer, Do Not Leave Them in Hot Vehicles

The Ontario government is strongly urging everyone to ensure their pet is not left unattended in a vehicle during the hot summer weather. Temperatures inside a vehicle can quickly become much hotter than the temperature outside even if the windows are opened slightly. This can put pets at risk of serious illness and possibly death. If your pet can’t be with you at your destination, leave them at home where they will be safe, cool and comfortable.

“It is critically important to ensure all pets are protected from the potential fatal effects of the hot summer sun,” said Sylvia Jones, Solicitor General. “Leaving pets to suffer in a sweltering vehicle will not be tolerated and we have adopted tough new laws to deter this type of reckless behaviour in the province.”

Ontario is the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement a full provincial government-based animal welfare enforcement system. The Provincial Animal Welfare Services (PAWS) Act came into effect January 1, 2020 and allows police, First Nations constables and provincial animal welfare inspectors to enter motor vehicles to help pets in distress. The legislation also has the strongest penalties in the country for people who violate animal welfare laws, including causing distress to animals.

If you see an animal in a hot car and are concerned the animal’s life is in immediate danger, dial 911. Members of the public should not attempt to enter a vehicle in these situations.



  • Unlike humans, dogs have a very limited ability to sweat. Even a short period in a hot environment can cause suffering and distress, which could result in brain damage or death.
  • Excessive panting, drooling, listlessness, collapsing or seizures are all examples of visible signs of heat stress in animals. If you witness these signs in your pet, move the animal to a cool area and seek veterinary attention immediately.
  • Cruelty to any animal is not tolerated in Ontario. If you think an animal is in distress or being abused, call 1-833-9-ANIMAL (264625).


  1. It is against the law to smash anyone’s windows, which was a published article just a few days ago.
    You are to call 911 and wait for a direction-just takes seconds really.
    I do leave my dogs on my vehicle, only for a few short moments to run in and pick up my take out….but the air is on full., and I am usually parked where I can watch through a window.
    I shut my car off, lock it, and use the remote starter to restart with air conditioning on.
    Works very well…..

  2. I dont understand why people bring their dog when they are going shopping ??? The dog does not want to sit in the hot car with strange noises and people!! They bark all the time !! Yes they do!! They are stressed out!! Just stop it!!

  3. i would just leave the dog home if you are not going to let him/her out with you in public. There’s no reason to bring them if you’re gonna spend more than 5 mins in a store… 5 mins in a car can make them very suspectable to heat strokes which is already dangerous. Do your dog a favor and leave them home, unless they are coming out with you.

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