NOTE: This content is old - Published: Saturday, Aug 18th, 2018.
Officers from South Flintshire Police say they have had to force open the window of a car today after a dog was left inside as temperatures reached up to 22ºC.
The car was parked on Broughton Retail Park when the Westie was spotted inside, in an update on social media a spokesperson for South Flintshire Police said:
‘The dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars can be fatal for them, even with the windows open! This little fella had a lucky escape after officers forced the vehicle window open with the help of the public
#LuckyEscape #HotDog #AnimalWelfare #WeWillSmashWindows #Westie #Cutie’
The dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars can be fatal for them, even with the windows open! This little fella had a lucky escape after officers forced the vehicle window open with the help of the public #LuckyEscape #HotDog #AnimalWelfare #WeWillSmashWindows #Westie #Cutie pic.twitter.com/6GNUcyIjIF
— NWP South Flintshire (@NWPSouthFlints) August 18, 2018
The RSPCA say they have dealt with a large number of incidents during the summer where dogs have been left in cars and caravans.
RSPCA superintendent Martyn Hubbard said:
“When it is 22°C outside, within an hour the temperature can reach 47°C inside a vehicle. This can cause heat stroke, and ultimately can have fatal consequences for dogs.
“Our message is clear – ‘not long is too long’. A warm vehicle can be a death trap for dogs – but sadly these latest call statistics highlight that too many people may be prepared to take this risk.”
A dog’s normal body temperature is around 39°C (102°F). Although the upper lethal body temperature of dogs is approximately 42°C (108°F), brain damage may develop at body temperatures of 41°C (106°F).
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.
If the dog isn’t displaying symptoms of heatstroke
- Establish how long the dog has been in the car. A ‘pay and display’ ticket could help.
- Make a note of the car’s registration. If the owner returns, but you still feel the situation was dangerous for the dog, you may still report the incident to the police.
- If you’re at a shop, venue or event ask the staff to make an announcement to alert the owner of the situation.
- If possible, get someone to stay with the dog to monitor their condition. If they begin to display signs of distress or heatstroke, be prepared to dial 999.
- You can also call our 24-hour cruelty line for advice on 0300 1234 999. However, if the dog’s in danger, dialing 999 should always be the first step.