As the weather heats up and after a year of lockdowns and restrictions, it’s inevitable that many of us will be wanting to explore the great outdoors and seeking the perfect staycations with our four legged friends. With the reality being that dogs are not welcomed everywhere, we are urging the public to carefully plan outings and to safeguard their dogs’ from heatstroke this summer.
Never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial 999.
Many people still believe that it’s ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog.
A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it’s 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour.
What to do if you see a dog in a car on a warm day
In an emergency, we may not be able to attend quickly enough, and with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance at such an incident.
Don’t be afraid to dial 999, the police will inform us if animal welfare assistance is required..
Help a dog in a hot car
· Establish the animal’s health and condition. If they’re displaying any signs of heatstroke dial 999 immediately.
· If the situation becomes critical for the dog and the police are too far away or unable to attend, many people’s instinct will be to break into the car to free the dog. 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.
· 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 removed, if the dog is displaying signs of heatstroke, follow our emergency first aid advice. This could mean the difference between life and death for the dog