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
“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
“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
“Causing an animal unnecessary suffering is a criminal offence and
anyone found guilty of doing so can be fined and banned from owning
“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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, providing the address you
wish your posters to be sent to and the number you wish to receive.