Keep dogs cool - in warm sunny weather never leave an animal in your car.
Never Leave a Dog in Your Car
In the summer during warm weather cars become like ovens, with temperatures soaring to 120°F/49°C or even higher.
Because of this, animals should never be left inside cars.
If an animal left in a car is panting for breath it may be starting to suffer from heatstroke, which can kill an animal very quickly.
Open Windows or Water Do Not Help
Leaving windows open or putting a bowl of water in the car does not help. Dogs can die from heatstroke in a minimum of 20 minutes. It is not just cars that are the problem - caravans and conservatories can also pose a risk.
Owners who put an animal at risk by leaving it inside a locked car could face prosecution. Under the Animal Welfare Act pet owners have a legal duty to care for their animals, which includes preventing suffering. Penalties are a fine of up to £20,000 or up to six months in prison.
Reporting Distressed Animals
If you see a dog left inside a parked car on a warm day, please contact the police on 999 for assistance, or in Eastbourne alternatively you can contact the council's Dog Welfare Officer on 01323 415380.
Make a note of the car’s colour, model, make and number plate before you call. If the car is in a shop’s car park, ask the shop to page the owner over the intercom.
In the event of the police or the Dog Welfare Officer being unable to attend, please contact the RSPCA 24-hour Cruelty line - telephone: 0300 1234 999.
Look After Your Pets in Summer
Hot weather can be deadly for dogs anywhere outside – even those left in a shaded area. Other tips to look after your pets in summer include:
Keep dogs cool indoors. If they absolutely must stay outside, at least try not to keep them outside during the hottest part of the day. Provide all-day shade, a paddling pool and drinking water in a heavy bowl.
Trim heavy-coated dogs’ fur, but leave an inch of fur for protection against insects and sunburn.
Do not take your dog jogging – except on cool mornings or evenings. Rest often and take plenty of water with you. Hot pavements can burn dogs’ paws, so choose shady, grassy routes.
For more advice on summer health for pets, go to the Dogs Trust and PDSA websites, and download the RSPCA leaflet below.