Fredericton police, SPCA team up for pet safety

Fredericton — Wednesday, The Manatee reported that New Brunswick pets will have to start wearing seatbelts starting Sept. 1. The extreme public reaction following this news served to alert members of the New Brunswick SPCA that pet owners in the province may not care or be aware of various pet-safety tactics.

“We want the pets of New Brunswick to be safe,” explained Meghan Thompson from the SPCA. “When you drive with your pet, buckle them in — and for god’s sake, don’t leave them in a hot car!”

More and more, cops are being called to public places where pets are being left in vehicles during hot summer days, and the department is dolling out fines in record numbers. Now, though, they’ve decided that proper education might lead to fewer pets being left in harm’s way.

“Maybe it’s an issue of awareness and lack of proper training,” suggested the head of the pet safety/jaywalking control/hate-crime division of the Fredericton Police Force Katelyn Moore. “It’s quite possible that pet owners don’t know that being left in a small, suffocating environment could be potentially dangerous for animals.”

dogThe Fredericton Police and several SPCA volunteers are meeting up this weekend at shopping centres across the city to educate the public on the do’s and don’ts of pet ownership.

“We’re going to cover the science behind why it’s bad to leave your dog in a car when it’s hot out and why you should strap them in,” disclosed Thompson. “This issue has raised a lot of other topics that we’re going to cover as well that people might just not be aware of.”

The SPCA showed The Manatee its planned presentation, which was created using the original version of Microsoft PowerPoint released in 1990 due to the SPCA’s extreme lack of funding. “We compiled a list of questions we thought might be on the minds of local pet-owners,” said Thompson. “So, the first slide will ask a question and we’ll play the theme for Jeopardy while people think about it for a few seconds and then the next slide will reveal the answers along with common dangers involved with the topic.”

Questions in the presentation include:

Is it a good idea for me to leave my husky in the car while I get a massage, facial and a mani-pedi when it’s 30 degrees outside?

Should I let my snake and rabbit play together in a box?

After bathing my kitten, can I dry him/her using the microwave?

My bird keeps flying away; can I cut his/her wings off?

How much poison is a safe amount for my dog to consume?

Will cats always land on their feet? From any height?

Does a cat really have 9 lives?

How long can a hamster hold its breath under water?

Is my leaving a bowl of food out and the tap running for my dog to drink from sufficient care while I’m away on vacation?

Can a chicken really live without its head? If so, what’s the safest way to remove a chicken’s head?

With more pet-abuse incidents being reported during the summer months, police are asking for the public’s help; if you see a pet left in a vehicle, you’re asked to either smash every window in the vehicle to ensure multiple exit points for the pet, or to scream at the top of your lungs non-stop until help arrives.

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