The RSPCA received 625 calls over the last two weeks about animals left in hot environments – the majority of which relate to dogs in hot cars.
That’s almost two calls every hour, despite the charity’s advice for people who see a pet locked in a car to call the police on 999.
The charity has revealed some of the shocking excuses given by pet owners, including:
“My dog is white, he’ll be fine.”
“They’re fine, they’re smiling?” (The dogs weren’t smiling, they were panting excessively.)
“I parked the car in the shade when I got here, I can’t help it if the shade moved.”
“The dog barks when I leave it alone in the house, it annoys the neighbours.”
“We only went to buy a new kitchen.”
“We feel bad leaving him at home on his own all day.”
“I’m having an open day to sell my house, the dogs would have been in the way.”
“It’s OK, I’m a vet.”
“It’s not like my dog’s on its own in the car, my kid is with it.” (On this occasion ‘the kid’ was a five-month-old baby strapped into a car seat.)
“I left the window open.”
“We didn’t think we’d be long.” – The owners had been at a Sunday service at church.
“I’ve only been in the pub for half an hour, anyway it’s OK, I run a dog rescue centre.”
With temperatures soaring this week, the charity is urging pet owners not to risk their animals lives by leaving them in hot environments.
On Tuesday, police in York were forced to smash open a window of a ‘baking hot’ car to free two dogs.
The officers removed the Labradors from the vehicle and an RSPCA officer rushed them to a vet for treatment for heat exhaustion.
#PC1810 and PCSO 3680 have just rescued two dogs from a vehicle where the owners had left them for over half an hour in a car in the blazing hot sun. The window was smashed and the owners will be prosecuted by @RSPCAYORK. There is no excuse for this, I am utterly appalled…1/2 pic.twitter.com/xUMWUbzBVK
— NYP York City (@NPTYorkcity) June 25, 2018
The animal welfare charity is now caring for the dogs, who have made a full recovery, and has launched an investigation.
On Monday – the hottest day of the year so far – the RSPCA emergency hotline received 167 calls – around one call every eight minutes.
In an emergency, it’s best to dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to police.
The RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, need police assistance before they can help an overheating animal.
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, the charity advises.
RSPCA campaign manager Holly Barber, who runs the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign, said: ‘There is absolutely no reason or excuse that warrants risking your pet’s life by leaving them in a car on their own in this heat.
‘People don’t believe it will happen to them or they tell themselves they’ll only be a minute, but it simply isn’t good enough.
‘We’re pleading with people not to take the risk and to leave their pets at home where they will be safe and happy.’
For more information about what to do if you’re worried about a dog in a hot car or a dog displaying signs of heatstroke, see the RSPCA website or call 0300 1234 999 for advice.