Posted: Fri 29th Jun 2018

RSPCA Cymru receive dozens of calls in last 3 days about dogs left in hot vehicles

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Jun 29th, 2018

Soaring temperatures in Wales lead to over 50 calls to RSPCA Cymru relating to concerns for animals in hot environments.

The new figures have prompted RSPCA Cymru to again highlight to the public the dangers of leaving a dog in a vehicle amid warmer conditions.

As temperatures continue to soar across Wales, RSPCA Cymru has received a further 51 calls over the previous three days about members of the public concerned about animals kept in hot environments.

The total number of calls to the RSPCA in Wales between Tuesday and Thursday is 51  – the clear majority are understood to relate to dogs left in hot vehicles a spokesperson said.

RSPCA Cymru continues to warn members of the public as to the potentially fatal dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car.

The animal welfare charity always urges people to call police on 999 if they see a dog in such a dangerous situation; indicating that the number of incidents taking place is likely to be considerably higher.

RSPCA superintendent Martyn Hubbard warned: “Temperatures can rise rapidly inside cars, caravans and even conservatories.

“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.

“All over Wales, temperatures have been soaring in recent days – and over the last 72 hours, we’ve seen 51 calls come into us.

“However, the RSPCA does not have powers of entry. Our advice remains that – in an emergency – people should dial 999 to report a dog in a hot car to the police.

“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.

Featured images (above) are from Police and the RSPCA in York who had to smash the window of a car to rescue a dog in baking temperatures – the owners were prosecuted.

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