The RSPCA has renewed warnings not to leave dogs in hot cars during the current heatwave.
An RSPCA spokesperson said: “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. Dogs can easily suffer heat stroke and die in hot cars.”
They added: “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.
“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.”
The appeal comes at a time when a national survey has revealed that many people will take no action if they witness a dog shut in a hot car.
The research conducted by Confused.com found more than half (51%) of UK drivers have witnessed a dog left alone in a car on a hot day. Of these, most (74%) did not choose to intervene.
Amanda Stretton at Confused.com, says: “The law around it is confusing. Are we allowed to break into a car if it’s in the interest of saving an animals life? Should we stand by and wait until the owner returns? Who should we call? The RSPCA? The police?
“While the RPSCA may seem like the best people to call, they do not have the right to enter any vehicle. S
The RSPCA is also offering advice on how to keep your dogs and pets comfortable during the hot weather. It says You can also keep your pets safe by using a pet-safe sun cream on exposed parts of your pets skin, and of course, by providing plenty of access to shade and fresh water. It’s also worth checking pets regularly for flystrike. You can also help your pets cool down by putting ice cubes in their water bowl or by providing damp towels for them to lie on.