Not long is too long for dogs in cars
OVER a two week period as temperatures soared the RSPCA received 625 calls from members of the public concerned about animals in the heat, 10 of those calls came from Bucks.
The animal protection charity revealed that of the calls, which were collated between June 11 and 24, the majority related to dogs left in hot cars.
That is almost two calls every hour, despite the charity’s key advice being to call the police on 999 in the event of an emergency. Despite years of campaigning, people continue to risk their dogs’ lives by leaving them unattended in stationary vehicles in the warm weather.
The following are reasons and excuses given to RSPCA inspectors by owners returning to their vehicles with dogs left inside:
“My dog is white, he’ll be fine.”
“They’re fine, they’re smiling?” (The dogs weren’t smiling, they were panting excessively.)
“I parked the car in the shade when I got here, I can’t help it if the shade moved.”
“The dog barks when I leave it alone in the house, it annoys the neighbours.”
“We feel bad leaving him at home on his own all day.”
“I’m having an open day to sell my house, the dogs would have been in the way.” “It’s OK, I’m a vet.” “It’s not like my dog’s on its own in the car, my kid is with it.” (On this occasion ‘the kid’ was a five-month-old baby strapped into a car seat.)
“I’ve only been in the pub for half an hour, anyway it’s OK, I run a dog rescue centre.”
The RSPCA message is clear – ‘not long is too long’ – and we urge anybody with a dog not to take the risk and to leave their pet at home
Temperatures can rise quickly in cars, caravans and even conservatories.
When it’s 22°C outside, within an hour the temperature can reach 47°C inside a vehicle, which can result in death.
On Monday June 25 – the hottest day of the year so far – the RSPCA emergency hotline received 167 calls – that is around one call every eight minutes.
RSPCA campaign manager Holly Barber, said: “There is absolutely no reason or excuse that warrants risking your pet’s life by leaving them in a car on their own in this heat. People don’t believe it will happen to them or they tell themselves they’ll only be a minute, but it simply isn’t good enough.
“We’re pleading with people not to take the risk and to leave their pets at home where they will be safe and happy.”
In an emergency, it is best to dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to police.
The RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry the RSPCA would need police assistance at 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.
For more information about what to do if you are worried about a dog in a hot car call 0300 1234 999 for advice.