Hot dogs that can be fatal
IT is unseasonally hot, you are wearing a thick fur coat and fur hat, you are locked in a car in the baking heat for hours. You cannot call for help and you are dehydrated and in distress. Imagine it happening to you and you will begin to understand how t
IT is unseasonally hot, you are wearing a thick fur coat and fur hat, you are locked in a car in the baking heat for hours. You cannot call for help and you are dehydrated and in distress.
Imagine it happening to you and you will begin to understand how thousands of dogs feel at this time of year when thoughtless owners leave them in cars.
The council's Fenland dog warden service team is tackling the problem and it needs your help. The team has been out and about advising members of the public not to leave their dogs in hot cars. The team is also calling on the public to call them or the RSPCA if they see a dog locked in a car for any length of time.
Since June 2005, the RSPCA has received more than 2,534 complaints about dogs being left in cars, compared with 902 the previous year.
Despite campaigns to urge dog owners not to leave animals in hot cars, the number of offenders has almost tripled in two years.
As a result, the RSPCA has contacted all local authorities to enlist their support in flagging up the problem. In Fenland, the dog warden service team is now actively looking for animals left in cars and is asking the public to help them save the lives of dogs by calling the council on 01354 654321 and asking for the dog warden service, or call the RSPCA on 0870 55 55 999.
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David McDowell, the RSPCA's acting chief veterinary adviser, said:
"Sadly these staggering figures show that the message still isn't getting across. Never leave a dog in a hot car, or somewhere without shade and water - or you risk killing your pet.
"Even when the weather gets a bit cooler and it clouds over, cars are still dangerous for dogs during the summer, so please, don't shut them in."
Terry Ball the council's dog warden said: "On a warm day the temperature inside a car can quickly soar to 49°C/120°F or even higher. Even if you park your car in the shade, the position of the sun can change.
Therefore our message is: Don't leave your dog in the car at all, take it with you."
Cllr Peter Murphy, portfolio holder with responsibility for environmental health, said: "As the temperature increases this summer we are asking members of the public to be responsible dog owners and to never leave their pets in hot cars. We also need the public to be extra vigilant for any animal showing signs of distress in a car. If they spot an animal in distress, please call us or the RSPCA.