Hot Bank Holiday weekend sparks fears for dogs in cars
PUBLISHED: 09:04 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 09:04 31 August 2017
The RSPCA has received more than a dozen calls in Kent in recent days
The RSPCA fears more dogs will lose their lives this summer locked inside sweltering cars after receiving more than a dozen calls from the county, and almost 400 nationwide, during the recent warm weather.
In Kent, the charity received some 13 reports of animals in hot environments between Monday, August 21 and Bank Holiday Monday, August 28 - one of the highest rates in the country - when a mini heatwave swept across the country seeing temperatures of almost 30°C.
“It’s really worrying that despite all of our campaign activity and publicity this summer, hundreds of people are still putting their pets in perilously dangerous situations,” RSPCA campaign manager, Holly Barber, said.
“Our main advice to owners is not to leave dogs in cars and our main advice to passers-by is to call 999 if they’re concerned about an animal in a hot environment.
“Despite these clear and simple messages, people continue to put their pets’ lives at risk by leaving them shut inside vehicles when the temperature outside is nearing 30°C.
“And while many well-intentioned people concerned for the welfare of the animal are alerting us, we would urge them to call police instead as they can often get there quicker and have the power to break into a vehicle to get animals out of danger.
“My fear is that, unless people seriously consider the danger they are putting their pets in, more dogs will lose their lives this summer due to their owner’s ignorance.”
In 2016, the RSPCA’s emergency hotline received 7,187 calls about animals in hot environments - the majority of which were regarding dogs.
While down from the previous year (8,779), the number is still worryingly high considering the charity’s key advice is for people to call 999.
The charity is working with 12 other organisations to raise awareness of the dangers associated with leaving dogs in cars, vans and caravans, as well as conservatories, sheds and outbuildings.
The RSPCA says it’s important to remember not to leave any animal in a car or caravan, or in a conservatory or outbuilding, where temperatures can quickly rise, even when it doesn’t feel that warm outside.
For example, when it’s 22C outside, within an hour the temperature can reach 47C inside a vehicle, which can result in death.