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Never leave your dog in a parked car - RSPCA warning during hot spell

PUBLISHED: 15:59 06 May 2018 | UPDATED: 18:23 06 May 2018

Hungarian Wire-haired Vizsla 
panting in a car with the window open.  Picture: Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA.

Hungarian Wire-haired Vizsla panting in a car with the window open. Picture: Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA.

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Dog owners are being urged never to leave their pets unattended in parked cars as Bank Holiday Monday is set to be the hottest on record.

Dogs Die In Hot Cars campaign
. New logo. Picture: Andrew Forsyth/RSPCADogs Die In Hot Cars campaign . New logo. Picture: Andrew Forsyth/RSPCA

Last year, calls to the RSPCA charity about animals overheating reached nearly 8,000 with 90pc of them dogs. There were 170 calls in Norfolk, 154 in Suffolk and 146 in Cambridgeshire.

The RSPCA leads a coalition of other groups and organisations in its annual campaign during the summer months, raising awareness of the dangers associated with leaving pets in cars, caravans, conservatories and outbuildings during hot, summer weather.

The bank holiday is Dogs Die in Hot Cars Awareness day and RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Hens said: “It’s really concerning to see that the number of calls about this issue actually rose last year when it had been steadily falling over previous years.

“It’s so dangerous to leave your pet inside any hot environment whether it be a car, a conservatory or even a caravan. The temperature inside a car can soar to 47°C within minutes, even when the outside temperature is just 22°C and this can be fatal for a dog.

“Opening a window, parking in the shade or leaving a bowl of water for your dog isn’t enough and still leaves dogs in serious danger of suffering from heatstroke. And popping into the shop for five minutes is long enough for your dog to be affected.

“Dogs are covered in fur and do not sweat in the same way as humans do. Unlike humans, dogs pant to help keep themselves cool. The effectiveness of panting is reduced at high temperatures and humidities. Cars heat up very rapidly in hot – or even warm – weather.”

If you see a dog in a car on a hot day, dial 999 in an emergency and report it to police. The RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, it would need police assistance at such an incident. If the animal is displaying any sign of heatstroke - such as panting heavily, drooling excessively, is lethargic or uncoordinated, or collapsed and vomiting - call 999 immediately.

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