Don’t leave dogs in hot cars warns SSPCA

The Scottish SPCA is urging pet owners not to leave their dogs in hot

cars, warning they are risking their animals’ lives by doing so.

Concerned members of the public have been contacting the charity’s

animal helpline after seeing distressed dogs left in cars during the

recent spell of warm weather.

The Scottish SPCA is keen to remind people that leaving a dog in a warm

vehicle for even a short period of time can have serious consequences

for both the dog and the owner.

A 53 year old man from the Glasgow area has already been cautioned this

year under the Animal Health and Welfare (Scotland) Act 2006 with

causing two dogs unnecessary suffering after leaving them in a hot

vehicle. A report will be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal.

Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said, “We run this campaign every summer

but some owners simply are not getting the message and we fear that they

don’t fully appreciate the dangers they are putting their animals in.

“Many people might not realise that even on warm, cloudy days, cars can

effectively turn into ovens and dogs can overheat in minutes.

“Leaving a window open and providing water is not enough. Being left

inside a hot vehicle causes dogs to pant to try to cool down and this

can lead to severe dehydration and hyperventilation which is extremely

dangerous.

“Most people know what it’s like to get into a car after it’s been

sitting in the sun. It’s unbearable and we immediately roll down the

windows or turn on the air conditioning.

“Imagine being trapped inside a hot vehicle wearing a fur coat for

minutes, possibly hours, and you are some way to understanding how dogs

in hot cars feel.”

The charity is urging owners to leave their animals at home in warm

weather rather than taking them on a car journey, stressing that dogs

have previously died in Scotland as a result of being left in hot cars.

CS Flynn continued, “We aren’t scaremongering. Sadly, we have dealt with

cases where dogs’ body temperatures have increased to such a point they

have effectively been boiled alive from the inside.

“The suffering they endured would have been horrendous and what’s even

worse is these tragedies were entirely avoidable.

“Our advice is to leave dogs at home on warm days if they are going to

be left in the car for any period of time as it is simply not worth the

risk.

“Owners should ensure that their dogs have fresh water available at all

times and that there is adequate ventilation in the room. When dogs are

kept outdoors, shelter should be provided so they can escape the heat of

the sun.

“Causing an animal unnecessary suffering is a criminal offence and

anyone found guilty of doing so can be fined and banned from owning

animals.

“However, there would be no greater punishment than an owner returning

to their car to find their dog has died a horrific death due to their

own ignorance.”

Scottish SPCA posters highlighting the dangers of leaving dogs in hot

cars are available to be displayed in local communities. To request

copies please phone the charity’s Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999 and

select option 5.

Alternatively, email info@scottishspca.org, providing the address you

wish your posters to be sent to and the number you wish to receive.