The Scottish SPCA has issued a warning to dog owners over the danger of leaving pets in hot cars.
As summer approaches the animal charity has reminded the public of the dangers associated with leaving dogs in hot cars in the warm weather.
In a year, the Scottish SPCA will receive more than 1,000 reports of dogs in cars when it’s hot outside.
Lockdown guidelines have meant that there have been very few concerns raised over canines so far however, as restrictions ease the charity expect to see a rise in calls.
In response the anticipated rise in cases the animal welfare organisation is making a plea to pet owners across the country.
Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn said: “If you imagine being trapped in an oven with a fur coat, it will give you some sense of how a dog can feel inside a hot car.
“It only takes a few minutes for a dog to overheat in a hot vehicle and leaving a window open or a bowl of water simply is not good enough. Our message is simple – don’t risk it. 22 degrees outside can mean 44 degrees inside the car.
“If there is a possibility you might be leaving the dog in the car, even on a warm, cloudy day, just leave your pet at home with plenty of water and adequate ventilation. If your pet is outdoors, make sure there is an adequate space with shelter where they can get out of the sun.
“Over the years, we have prosecuted people who have allowed dogs to die in hot cars. Helen Campbell, an owner of a dog walking business in Glasgow, narrowly escaped jail for leaving eight dogs in a hot van which resulted in the death of two dogs, three being hospitalised and three others left ill.
“This is completely avoidable if everyone uses common sense and doesn’t risk it.”
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The charity’s advice to the pet-owning public when hot weather rolls around is simple:
- People should walk their dogs early in the morning or late at night – times when the pavement will be cool for your dogs paws. If it’s too hot for your hands then it’s too hot for their paws.
- Keeping cooling bandannas to hand or providing paddling pools or cold/damp blankets are a good way to help your pooch stay cool.
- If your pet seems uncomfortable, dip their feet in water or mist water over their face to help
These are just some of the steps that can be taken to help keep your pets cool during the summer. The danger of a hot car is still present however and Mike warns that the best action is to call 999.
He said: “A dog in a hot car is in serious and immediate danger and a member of our team will attend any reports of these as quickly as possible. If someone witnesses a dog inside a car on a hot day, contact 999 immediately.”
The Scottish SPCA has also cautioned the public over their actions if they see a dog in danger. Smashing a car window could be classed as criminal damage and those involved may end up in court to defend themselves.
Those who have witnessed a dog in a hot car should call the police make note of any other witnesses and capture photos or footage of the dog.
Anyone with concerns about the welfare of an animal should contact the Scottish SPCA’s animal helpline on 03000 999 999.