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Police and Charities Warn Owners this Summer: 'Dogs Die in Hot Cars'

28 July 2016

Uk - Rescue and rehoming charities, veterinary associations, police, and welfare organisations are all working together to ensure owners know the dangers the warm weather can pose to dogs over the summer months.

The RSPCA receives thousands of reports of dogs suffering from heat exposure every year. Roughly one call every hour.

Though ‘heat exposure’ can also include dogs outside who are suffering from the heat, or dogs in conservatories or caravans, the majority of calls we take for heat exposure in dogs involve dogs in hot cars.

Already this summer we have been called out three times for dogs who have tragically died in hot cars.

It’s important to remember not to leave any animal in a car or caravan, or in a conservatory or outbuilding, where temperatures can quickly rise, even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside. For example, when it’s 22°C outside, within an hour the temperature can reach 47°C inside a vehicle, which can result in death. 

To raise awareness and highlight the real danger of leaving dogs in cars, even on a seemingly mild day, working with our partners, we have made a shocking new short film:

What to do if you see a dog in a car on a hot day

In an emergency, it is best to dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to police. We may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance for such an incident.

If the animal is displaying any sign of heatstroke - such as panting heavily, drooling excessively, is lethargic or uncoordinated, or collapsed and vomiting - call 999 immediately.

Many people’s instinct is to break into the car to free the dog. But please be aware that, without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage.

Make sure you tell the police of your intentions and take photos or footage of the dog as well as names and numbers of witnesses. You have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances.

Once removed from the car, move the dog to a cool area and douse him/her with cool water. Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water. 

If the dog isn’t displaying signs of heatstroke, try to establish how long the dog has been in the car and make a note of the registration. Try nearby shops and ask staff to make an announcement of the situation over the tannoy, if possible, making sure to get someone to stay with the dog to monitor its condition. 

ThePetSite News Desk

Top image via Shutterstock

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