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Couple slammed for leaving dog in hot car in Tesco car park

White dog looking out of car window
© Pixabay

A couple left their dog sweltering in their car while they shopped and temperatures outside were reaching 28 degrees. They are now feeling the full force of public condemnation.

By Nick Whittle , 5 Jul 2019

As temperatures reached record peaks in many parts of the country last weekend north Devon saw temperatures of a more usual 28C. Nevertheless it was still too warm for one dog that had been locked in a car while his owners shopped at Tesco.

Passers-by, who noticed the dog panting furiously in the Bideford supermarket car park, tried to rescue it. Their bid to free the dog was interrupted by the return of the couple who despite their carelessness hurled abuse at worried onlookers.

The temperature inside a car parked in temperatures of 28C can reach a lethal 44C in just 20 minutes. In fact, dog owners are advised not to leave a dog in their car even in the winter, when the sun is weakest.

Temeprature inside a locked car

Tesco caught in the crossfire

The supermarket at which the couple shopped also came under fire for not recalling the customers and demanding that they took care of their dog.

Employees of the supermarket apparently refused to make a public announcement for fear of “upsetting” the customers unduly.

Legality of animal welfare

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, leaving your dog in a hot car is a criminal offence.

The RSPCA issues the following guidelines in the event that you find a dog suffering with heat exhaustion in a car.

•    Establish the animal's health and condition. If they show signs of heatstroke dial 999 immediately.

•    If you decide to break into a car you should 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.