Betraying Man’s Best Friend
RSPCA renews plea to dog owners not to leave pets in cars during the summer Each year we see newspaper reports of dogs literally boiling from the inside out as careless owners leave them trapped in parked cars. Last year alone the RSPCA were called out to over 6,000 dogs trapped in hot vehicles. All too often, owners make the mistake of thinking its sufficient to leave a window open or a bowl of water, but it’s simply not enough. Leaving a dog alone in a car can be a death sentence. Even when it’s cloudy the temperature inside a car can rocket. If its as mild as 22 degrees, inside a car it can soar to 47 degrees within an hour, as the glass turns it into a greenhouse. Even with air conditioning it can reach the same temperature as outside in just five minutes. It can take just 20 minutes for a dog to die in a hot car.
When he realised a few hours later, he alerted his colleagues, who smashed the car windows to rescue the animals - but it was too late. Both Chay and Tilly were found collapsed and died soon after being rushed to a vet. In October, Craven was banned from owning dogs for three years. The incident also cost him his career. All dogs will suffer if left alone in a car, but some are more prone to heatstroke. Old, young, short nosed (like Pugs), long haired, overweight or muscular dogs are all at more risk.
How to spot heatstroke: •
Excessive panting and salivation
Overly red or purple gums
Lack of co-ordination, reluctance or inability to stand
Vomiting, diarrhoea or seizures
We all know what it’s like to get in a car parked in the sun all day. The heat is unbearable. Now imagine sitting in that car - unable to open the window, wearing a fur coat! It can happen to any dog, in any car, and even to the most experienced owner. In June last year, Metropolitan Police dog handler Sgt Ian Craven left two police dogs - a working Belgian Malinois called Chay and a German Shepherd pup called Tilly - in an unventilated car outside his police station.
What should I do? Owners should act straight away, by moving pets to a cooler spot and ringing a vet for advice immediately. •
Douse your dog with cool (not cold) water and place them in the breeze of a fan. Never cool your dog so much that he/she begins to shiver
The RSPCA will investigate all reports of dogs trapped in cars and rescue the animal if necessary.
Give your dog small amounts of water
Continue to douse with cool water until his/ her breathing starts to settle then take them straight to a veterinary surgery.
If you are concerned for the welfare of any animal call their Cruelty Line on 0300 1234 999