The RSPCA has criticised owners who left their dogs in hot cars over the weekend, despite many repeated warnings about the dangers.
The animal welfare charity was inundated with hundreds of complaints over the weekend from people who spotted animals suffering as the temperature rocketed to 90 degrees in some parts of the country.
Around 70 calls about animals trapped in hot cars in the South East came into the RSPCA’s National Control Centre over the weekend of 6-7 July and a further 280 calls were received across the rest of England and Wales. Sadly, the heat wave also claimed a number of doggy lives across the country.
A seven-year old female Staffordshire bull terrier died after being left in a car outside a pub while the owners had Sunday lunch in Bradford, West Yorkshire. A woman and two men have been interviewed.
In another incident, a two year old Rottweiler cross was pulled dead out of a hot car outside their owner’s home in Bury, Greater Manchester. The RSPCA attended after a call from police just after 6pm on Sunday (7 July) and say that a woman has been interviewed.
Referring to these latest incidents, RSPCA chief inspector Dermot Murphy said:
“The death of those dogs was an avoidable tragedy. Leaving a dog in a hot car has the same kind of effect as putting it in a microwave. They are literally cooked alive, in what is a horrendous death.”
“People just aren’t listening. Leaving a window open simply isn’t enough, and in-car temperatures rise quickly, even if it’s cloudy.”
“What people need to realise is that the next animal to die in a hot car, conservatory or outbuilding could be their pet – that’s how serious this is.”
The RSPCA say that all too often, owners make the mistake of thinking it is sufficient to leave a bowl of water or a window open for their pet but this is not enough to protect them from heat stroke, which can have fatal consequences. Even a hot garden without shade can be disastrous for an animal.
They further say that whilst ALL dogs will suffer, some are more prone to heat stroke. Dogs that are old, young, short nosed, long-haired, overweight or heavily muscled are more at risk, as well as dogs with certain diseases.
Heat stroke can result in coma or death in extreme instances.
The most obvious sign of heat stroke in dogs is excessive panting and profuse salivation. Other signs include:
- Overly red or purple gums
- A rapid pulse
- Lack of co-ordination, reluctance or inability to rise after collapsing, seizures, vomiting or diarrhoea
The RSPCA advise owners who fear their dog may be suffering from heat stroke to act quickly.
- Pets should be moved to a cooler spot straight away before ringing your vet for advice immediately
- Douse your dog with cool (not cold) water. You could put your dog in a shower and run cool water over him/her, spray your dog with cool water and place him/her in the breeze of a fan. Never cool your dog so much that he/she begins to shiver.
- Let your dog drink small amounts of cool water.
- Continue to douse your dog with cool water until his/her breathing starts to settle and then take him/her straight to the nearest veterinary surgery
With temperatures rocketing this week, RSPCA centres and branches across the country have been dusting off the paddling pools, sprinklers and hoses, not just for the staff but for the animals, in a bid to keep them cool and comfy!
Many RSPCA centres have special pools and paddling pools which are set up during the hot weather to help cool their animals. You can watch one of the animals, Brandy, enjoying the hot weather safely in this clip on YouTube