As the weather warms, PDSA has joined forces with other leading animal welfare groups to alert owners that dogs are dying in hot cars.
Every year there are devastating reports in the media of dogs being left in hot cars to suffer and even die.
But the car heats up quickly, even for a short period of time in the shade and with the windows open, which is extremely dangerous for our four-legged friends.
Cars can reach incredibly high temperatures within minutes of being parked. When a dog’s body temperature rises above 40°C, it can cause irreversible damage to the brain and internal organs.
Is it illegal to leave a dog in a hot car?
Leaving a dog in a hot car is not illegal per se, but owners are legally responsible for the health and welfare of their pets. If a dog falls ill or tragically dies as a result of being left in a hot car, the owner can be charged with animal cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act 2006. This may result in imprisonment and/or fines.
What to do if you see a dog in a hot car
Step 1: Assess the situation. Is the dog showing signs of stress or heat stroke? If so, please call 999 for assistance.
Step 2: When the dog’s situation becomes critical and the police are too far away or absent, many people will instinctively break into the car to rescue the dog.
Step 3: Tell the police what you intend to do and why, and take pictures and/or tapes of the dog, as well as the names and phone numbers of witnesses to the incident.
Step 4: As soon as the dog is removed from the vehicle, have someone call your local veterinarian; they may ask you to go directly to them in an emergency. While waiting for advice, put the dog in a cool/cool place and pour a small amount of cold water over him. Do not use cold water as this may cause an electric shock. Give the dog a small amount of cool water and urgently take him to the nearest veterinarian, even if he appears to have recovered.