With the summer now in full swing, and temperatures are soaring, the RSPCA is urging people to remember that Dogs Die in Hot Cars.
Just last month, RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes left a thermometer in his van in 15C heat – significantly lower than Sunday’s temperatures over over 20C – and left it for an hour to see what temperature it would reach inside his vehicle.
Within just 60 minutes, the temperature had climbed to 43.5C.
Inspector Joynes said: “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.”
He added that if the situation becomes critical and police can’t attend, many people’s instinct is to break into the car to free the dog.
But he urged people to 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.
“The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances.
“Once removed from the car, move the dog to a shaded/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, establish how long the dog has been in the car and make a note of the registration.
“If you are near a store, ask a member of staff to make an announcement of the situation over the tannoy and get someone to stay with the dog to monitor its condition.
“You can call our 24-hour emergency cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 for advice but, in a dog is in danger, dialling 999 should always be the first step.”
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It is not just cars that can heat up quickly and kill dogs – caravans, conservatories and outbuildings with no breeze can have the same effect.
The best way to care for your dog in the hot summer is to walk them early and late in the day, or find somewhere cool such as a sheltered woodland with access to a river or stream.
Make sure they have plenty of water and if they do get too hot, cover them in a cold, damp towel.
If you do see a dog in distress and you have to act quickly to break the window and rescue it – make sure you call the police first and take photographic evidence/video and names of witnesses to protect yourself legally.
The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances.
Member since: 27th May 2014
Hi! I'm Ann and with my husband John, said 'Farewell' to bestof on 31st July 2017 and are returning to the horticultural trade. Thank you to everyone past and present for reading my blogs.