As summer approaches, members of the public are being reminded not to leave their dogs in a warm car after a dog was rescued from a vehicle on the hottest day of the year so far.
A “distressed” dog was found “panting” in a car parked in Coldoverton Close in Oakham, Rutland, in 27-degree heat.
Nigel Pearson, a volunteer with Leicestershire and Rutland 4x4 response, told Leicestershire Live that he found the car surrounded by people concerned for the dog’s wellbeing.
He said the sunroof of the car was open and the window was cracked open, but “the dog was clearly distressed”. One person was able to get a bowl of water into the car through the gap in the window to help bring the dog’s body temperature down.
“There were people around with hammers ready to smash the window, but I told them not to,” said Mr Pearson. “I called an officer I knew, and they came down immediately to deal with the situation.”
A warning by the Dogs Trust states that dogs could die in a hot car in just 20 minutes, and people should “think twice about any car trips” that could end up on congested roads or busy times of the day.
“Winding a window down is not enough to help your dog – never leave your dog in a warm car,” said the trust. “If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, call 999 immediately.”
According to the trust, signs of heatstroke in dogs include heavy panting, excessive drooling, lethargy or drowsiness, vomiting and collapsing. Dogs with thick heavy coats or short, flat faces, or very old or young dogs, are more prone to heatstroke than others.
Mr Pearson added the dog could have been stolen and that there had been “so many problems recently with dogs being stolen”.
“It’s like leaving a £1,000 phone on the dashboard, thieves will take the dog and ransom you for it. Just don’t leave your dog in the car.
“Big credit goes to all the people in the area for coming out to help and getting water,” he added. “When I called the officer, someone had already called 101. There’s such great community spirit in Oakham.”
The Independent has contacted Leicestershire Police for comment.