Thursday 22 February 2024
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Dogs Die In Hot Cars Warning: Your rights and actions if you see a dog in a car

Even in just a few minutes, temperatures inside vehicles can rise rapidly, and dogs feel the effects and can become very distressed.

RSPCA advice:

Please also remember that the same applies in conservatories and caravans – these are not suitable for dogs to be left in when the weather is warm. Always ensure that your pets have plenty of cool, fresh drinking water available to them

There is a dog in a vehicle that appears hot and distressed, what should I do?

This does depend on the level of distress.

It is not generally advisable to force entry to the vehicle yourself.

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If the animal is showing signs of elevated distress, such as very heavy panting, windows steamed up, or worse still the animal is panting heavily and lethargic, contact the Police giving as much information as you can about the vehicle, registration number and location. Please wait and make yourself known to the attending Officer. If the owner returns, please update the Police.

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If the matter is getting near life or death for the animal this should be a 999 call to Police stressing the urgency. If the Police don’t have time to get there, then you have to decide if you should take action.

It is not advisable to force entry to the vehicle yourself. Your first step should be to call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999 to inform them of the details namely, the condition of the dog, the registration number and location of the car. A dog warden service may also be able to help. They should despatch an inspector/warden to deal with the situation if s/he can. S/he will call the police if it is necessary to break into the car.

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The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if:
The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971).


If the animal is starting to show distress but is not life threatening, try to locate the owner to make them aware. You can still advise Police on 101 of the vehicle details in order to try and make contact with the registered keeper to make them aware. If you are in a car park anywhere that may have a public address system, ask for an announcement to be put out.


A distressed dog was rescued from a sweltering hot car by police officers who were forced to smash the vehicle’s window.Officers were called after the dehydrated animal was spotted at the Wilkinson Street park and ride site, off Nottingham’s ring road, on Monday afternoon.The small black Shih Tzu was barking and panting inside a locked car. The windows were left slightly open but it was not enough to prevent the dog collapsing.Thankfully, police arrived just in time to save his life. They smashed the car’s window, gave him water and rushed him to a local vet in the back of a police car.The dog is now making a good recovery and the owner has been invited to attend a police interview. The case is also to be referred to the RSPCA.With temperatures in excess of 30C expected in Nottinghamshire this week, dog owners are once again being reminded not to leave their dogs in hot cars – even with the windows slightly open as was the case in this incident.PC Jamie Martin, of the Broxtowe response team, said: “Firstly, I would like to thank staff at NET Nottingham Tram for alerting us to incident. Had they not done so, it is unlikely the dog would have survived.”Many people think it’s OK to leave their dog in the car on a warm day providing the windows are open. But this incident shows that just simply isn’t the case. Put simply, you should never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day.“Whilst it is not illegal to leave a dog in a hot car, owners are legally responsible for their pet’s health and welfare.“If a dog became ill or sadly died due to being left in a hot car, owners could be charged with the offence of animal cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act 2006.“This could lead to a prison sentence and/or a fine.”According to the RSPCA, cars can become as hot as an oven, even when the weather doesn’t feel that warm. The charity says that when it’s 22C outside, the car could reach 47C within an hour.If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, please dial 999. #nottingham #westbridgford #dogsdieinhotcars #dogsdie #uknews #summer #bbcnews #ukpolice #policeuk???????? #police #doginhotcar #heatwave #ukheatwave2022 #ukheatwave

♬ original sound – West Bridgford Wire News

For more information on what to do, and helping animals that are suffering heatstroke, please visit