Dog rescued from locked car outside an Ikea in 29C heat

13 June 2023, 14:56

Dog locked inside car outside Ikea in 29C rescued by police [Right and left: Stock Images]
Dog locked inside car outside Ikea in 29C rescued by police [Right and left: Stock Images]. Picture: Getty/ Unknown
Alice Dear

By Alice Dear

Police reportedly broke the windows of the car to save the dog's life after discovering the canine had been locked in the vehicle amid the heatwave.

A dog was rescued from a locked car over the weekend at Ikea in Birmingham.

According to eyewitness reports, police had to break the windows of the car as there were fears for the animal's life amid the rising temperatures.

Over the weekend, most of the UK saw temperatures soar, with highs of 30C in some areas. It is believed it was around 29C in Birmingham when the incident occurred on Sunday, 11th June.

Prior to police arriving, attempts to find the owner of the car and the dog were made, however, were unsuccessful.

This picture was taken of the dog in the car outside Ikea on Sunday
This picture was taken of the dog in the car outside Ikea on Sunday. Picture: Unknown

Ikea have since released a statement about the troubling situation, with a spokesperson saying: "We can confirm that a dog was found locked in a parked car at IKEA Birmingham on Sunday.

"When attempts to contact the owners failed, the Police were contacted and came to retrieve the dog for its welfare and safety."

A member of the public who witnessed the dog being rescued from the hot car told the Birmingham Mail: "Quite a few people who were there were trying to help Ikea staff too, trying to locate the owners. They said it happens quite a lot there."

They went on: "Another five to 10 minutes and the dog would have died The police showed up, they immediately smash the car window and grabbed the dog out."

West Midlands Police are yet to comment on the incident. The did, however, share a reminder to dog owners last week that they should not leave their pets in the car during high temperatures.

They tweeted: "With the temperatures set to soar PD Snow is reminding dog owners to never leave his fellow furry pals in a parked car 🐾 Dogs can suffer heatstroke within minutes 🥵."

These are just some of the symptoms of heatstroke in dogs
These are just some of the symptoms of heatstroke in dogs. Picture: Getty

As the hot temperatures are predicted to continue, it's important for people to know what to do if they find a dog locked in a hot car.

What should I do if I see a dog in a hot car?

1) Assess the dog’s condition

According to the experts at the RSPCA, you must first establish the animal's health and condition.If they are displaying any signs of heatstroke, you should call 999 immediately.You can find the symptoms of heatstroke further down on this page.

2) Taking action

In many cases if the dog’s 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 explain: “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.For information on performing first aid to a dog with heatstroke, please see further down on this page.

3) Does the dog have heatstroke?

If the dog is 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 in the shop by staff.

Keep track of the dog’s condition, if it changes, call the police.

How do I recognise heatstroke in my dog?

Heatstroke can be fatal to dogs, so it's important to know the signs and first aid.Some of the signs to look out for include:

  • Heavy panting
  • Red eyes
  • Red gums
  • Hot skin
  • Reduced activity
  • Vomiting
  • Collapsing
  • Diarrhoea
  • Excessively drooling
  • The dog appears lethargic, drowsy or uncoordinated
  • Difficulty breathing

What do I do if my dog has heatstroke?

According to information from the RSPCA, dogs suffering from heatstroke urgently need to have their body temperature lowered gradually for the best chance of survival.This is what they say you should do:

  • Move the dog to a shaded and cool area
  • Immediately pour cool (not cold to avoid shock) water over the dog. Tap water (15-16°C) has been found to be the most effective at cooling dogs with heat-related illnesses. In a true emergency, any water is better than nothing.
  • Wet towels placed over the dog can worsen the condition, trapping heat.  In mild cases towels can be placed under the dog, but never over, and in a true emergency water immersion or pouring water with air movement is ideal
  • Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water
  • Continue to pour cool water over the dog until their breathing starts to settle, but not too much that they start shivering
  • Dogs that have lost consciousness will stop panting, despite still having a very high temperature, these dogs require urgent aggressive cooling as a priority
  • Throughout the treatment of heatstroke try to avoid pouring water on or near your dog's head, as there is a risk of them inhaling water which could lead to drowning, especially for flat-faced and unconscious dogs.
  • Once the dog is cool, take them to the nearest vet as a matter of urgency
  • Some types of dogs are more prone to heatstroke, like very old or young dogs, dogs with thick, heavy coats or dogs with very short flat faces like pugs and bulldog types. Dogs with certain diseases or on some types of medication are also more at risk.

For more information on what to do and tips for keeping dogs safe this summer, visit the RSCPA website here or call them on 0300 1234 999.

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