The Scottish SPCA is urging pet owners not to leave their dogs in hot cars this summer, warning that last year a man in Scotland was convicted for doing so.
Concerned members of the public have already been contacting the charity’s animal helpline after seeing distressed dogs left inside warm vehicles.
The Scottish SPCA is keen to remind the public that they may be risking their dog’s life by leaving it in a hot car for even a short period of time.
Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said, “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 a dog left inside a hot vehicle feels.
“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 or providing water is simply not good enough. Dogs can’t sweat the way humans do and need to pant to cool down which can lead to severe dehydration and hyperventilation.
“We run our ‘dogs die in hot cars’ campaign every year but we continue to receive a large numbers of calls from concerned members of the public each summer and we fear some owners don’t fully appreciate the danger they are putting their pets in.
“Causing an animal unnecessary suffering is an offence and last year a 54 year old man from Glasgow was convicted after leaving his two dogs inside a hot vehicle in the height of summer.
“He was banned from keeping animals for ten years and his two jack russells were not returned to his care as a result.
“Thankfully these dogs made a full recovery after receiving emergency treatment for heat stress but they could have died had we not intervened.
“We hope this case serves as a warning to other owners who may be tempted to leave their dogs in their vehicle on a warm day.
“Our advice is to leave dogs at home as it is simply not worth the risk.”
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.