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Cambridgeshire reports a shocking number of dogs left in hot cars

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Despite countless public advisories, dozens of articles and a not-insignificant number of prosecutions, unthinking owners are STILL leaving their dogs locked in hot cars at the hottest time of the year.

By Nick Whittle , 29 Jul 2019

How many more dogs must die before the message is received and understood? According to The Metro, the RSPCA received, “8,290 calls relating to animals and heat exhaustion in 2018 – 90 per cent of which were about dogs in hot cars.” Incredibly, that represents a 5% rise year on year.

This year police in Cambridgeshire have been forced to issue a public warning to dog owners who continue to gamble with their dogs' lives. Writes Cambridge News, police have urged people to be mindful of their obligation to look after their pets.

Interestingly, Londoners are the worst offenders, according to The Metro. The RSPCA received 620 calls around the city about animals distressed by the heat in 2018.

We're sure dogs love summer,” the constabulary writes, “but please don't leave them in the car on a hot day. So far this month we've received 11 reports of dogs being left in cars. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, call 999.”

The plain and simple fact

Although 71% of pet owners say leaving their pet in a car on a hot day is something they would never do, the remaining 29% consider doing so acceptable. However, the practice is deplorable and, should your animal die in the process, you are liable to be charged with animal cruelty.

It takes just a few seconds (not minutes) in the heat of the summer for a car to become too hot for a dog. An outside temperature of just 22 degrees can mean a deadly inside temperature of 47 degrees.

Temperatures in a hot car

Holly Barber, campaign manager of Dogs Die in Hot Cars, asks owners to instead leave their pets at home. Writes The Express, she said, “I simply don’t understand how people can possibly think it’s acceptable to leave a dog inside a parked car when temperatures outside are topping 30C.”


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What to do if you see an animal overheating in a car

The RSPCA offers the following guidance in the event of your finding an animal suffering in a locked car:

•    If the animal appears to be suffering or clambering for fresh air call 999 immediately
•    If the animal’s health deteriorates you may consider gaining access to the vehicle, but bear in mind you could be liable for criminal damage
•    Take pictures of the incident and the registration plate of the car

Under British law to commit an act of criminal damage is only defensible if you believe the owner (of the car) would have given consent to the damage had they known the circumstances (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971).

It could not be plainer: animals die in hot cars.


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