Hot cars can kill dogs

The AA supports the Dogs Trust ‘hot dogs’ campaign and will be handing out co-branded leaflets at major summer events

The AA supports the Dogs Trust ‘hot dogs’ campaign and will be handing out co-branded leaflets at major summer events

The AA supports the Dogs Trust ‘hot dogs’ campaign and will be handing out co-branded leaflets at major summer events

The UK may be a nation of dog lovers, but it seems we are still putting man’s best friend at risk as  a survey by Dogs Trust, reveals that over 66% of people have seen a dog locked in a car on a sunny day yet over a third of them did nothing about it.

With temperatures easily reaching over 40 degrees in some parked vehicles, dogs could die within minutes so Dogs Trust joins forces with the AA to target motorists and visitors with their “Hot Cars Can Kill Dogs” awareness campaign.

The survey also reveals that 15% of those questioned called the police when they saw a dog locked in the car, 49% tried to alert the driver and 4% actually broke into the car to rescue the dog.

Over the last year AA patrols have rescued 1000 pets locked in cars and in recent years there have been several high profile cases of canine fatalities.

Advice to motorists

  • Never leave your dog alone in the car - even if it seems cool outside it can become very hot very quickly. Parking in the shade and/or keeping the windows down does not make it safe! 
  • Make sure you keep your dog as cool as possible when driving: avoid travelling during the heat of the day, use sun blinds on the windows and consider opening a window a little to allow a cooling breeze to circulate in the vehicle 
  • Make sure you have a supply of water and know where you can stop off on route for water breaks. Dogs are not able to cool down as effectively as humans so could suffer from heat stroke and dehydration very quickly 

If you see a distressed dog in a vehicle please call 999, or either the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 or the Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999.

Download a copy of the campaign leaflet (pdf document) »

Comment

Dogs Trust Veterinary Director, Paula Boyden, comments:

“It is shocking to see that so many people consider leaving their dog in the car, whatever the weather. You wouldn’t leave your child in the car. Given how quickly the temperature can rise, it is equally unfathomable that you would leave your pet.

“We are delighted to be working with the AA to use the combined force of our members to spread the word and prevent any further dog deaths this summer.

“35% of people who have seen a dog locked in a car have decided to do nothing, but our advice is, if you see it, report it!”

AA patrol of the year Tony Rich comments:

“The dangers are obvious, you just have to touch the dashboard or seats to know how hot the inside of a car can get. But it's not just on warm days when dogs are at risk – vehicles can be death-traps even in cooler temperatures.

"So, if you are carrying a dog in the car, plan in some stops, take plenty of drinking water for it and check traffic reports – you want to minimise the time sitting in traffic.”

For more advice about travelling with your dog visit www.dogstrust.org.uk or call Dogs Trust on 020 7837 0006

(10 June 2013)