What to do if you see a dog locked in a hot car this summer
16 July 2019, 17:15
Dogs die in hot cars every year, here’s how you can help.
The UK is set to get even hotter this month, as a continental heat dome will see temperatures reach an intense 31 degrees.
While people stock up on BBQ food and top up their tans in the sun, it’s important to remember the dangers heat can bring for our furry friends.
Dogs die in hot cars every year, and during the Easter bank holiday the RSPCA received 166 emergency calls regarding animals left in the high temperatures.
Here’s what you can do if you see a dog locked in a hot car this summer:
1) Assess the dog’s condition
The RSPCA say: “Establish the animal's health and condition.
“If they're displaying any signs of heatstroke dial 999 immediately.”
The warning signs of heatstroke in a dog include heavy panting, drooling excessively, drowsiness and vomiting.
2) Taking action
In many cases, if the dog’s situation situation becomes critical and help is too far away, people break into cars to help the pet.
However, the RSCPA explain: “If you decide to do this, please be aware that without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage and, potentially, you may need to defend your actions in court.”
They say: “Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do and why.
“Take pictures or videos of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident.
“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 (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971).”
Once the dog is removed from the car, you can assess more clearly if the dog does have heatstroke.
If they do, you must follow the RSCPA’s emergency first aid advice, which can be found here.
3) Does the dog have heatstroke?
If the dog does not displaying symptoms of heatstroke, you should firstly find out how long the dog has been in the car for before making a note of the car’s registration plate.
If you are still concerned for the dog’s wellbeing, you can report this to the police.
Other options include attempting to find the owner – if you are outside a supermarket, you can have an announcement put out.
Keep track of the dog’s condition, if it changes, call the police.
For more advice on what to do and tips for keeping dogs safe this summer, visit RSCPA, or call them on 0300 1234 999.