The RSPCA has issued a fresh warning to dog owners and walkers to never leave a dog unattended in a car on a warm day after receiving almost 4,000 reports of incidents.
A study conducted via Kantar TNS OnLineBus, an internet omnibus survey, revealed 69 calls had been made about incidents in West Sussex and 44 in East Sussex.
The animal welfare charity – which leads a coalition of charities and organisations in the annual Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign – has issued the renewed advice after being made aware of the tragic deaths of three dogs who were left in vehicles in two separate incidents, and countless reports of dogs being removed from vehicles by members of the public.
Holly Barber, Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign manager for the RSPCA, said: “Every year we commission a survey to find out people’s awareness and attitudes to this issue.
“At Christmas in 2016 only 55 per cent of people said they would never leave their dog in a car on a warm day. This has now risen to 71 per cent (July, 2018).
“However, despite this promising data, the RSPCA continues to be inundated with calls from members of the public reporting dogs that have been left in hot cars.
“This is extremely worrying when you consider that our key advice is to call the police on 999 in an emergency.”
Anyone who sees a dog in a car on a hot day should dial 999, not the RSPCA, as only police have the power to smash the windows and bring the animal to safety.
Holly added: “I simply don’t understand how people can possibly think it’s acceptable to leave a dog inside a parked car when temperatures outside are topping 30C.
“It’s absolutely baffling that people who believe they are loving pet owners can even consider this as being acceptable.
“Please, please leave your pets at home in the shade with access to plenty of fresh water during the heatwave.”
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