RAC Cars News


Hot Cars Can Kill

By raccars Published

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We all know how dogs love to enjoy the open road, sticking their heads out of car windows and taking in the fresh air. We should also all know that leaving dogs in hot cars is an extremely bad idea - yet an astonishing number of people still seem to think it's OK, if they park in the shade and open a window.

Car interiors can behave like greenhouses and get very hot, very quickly. When the temperature outside is 22 degrees Celsius, the temperature inside the car can get as high as 47 degrees Celsius in only an hour. If you see a dog stuck inside a car on a hot day, the first step is to immediately call 999 for assistance. If you genuinely believe that the dog is in distress and danger, you may want to consider smashing one of the windows to get the dog out of the car, but you must understand that this could leave you subject to a charge of criminal damage. If you are going to take this step, inform the police first, try and get some witnesses to the necessity of performing the action and take some pictures or video as evidence.

According to the Criminal Damage Act 1971, section 5(2)(a), you may be permitted to damage property if you believe the owner would give their consent if they were aware of the circumstances.

If you do break into a car to rescue an overheating dog, you need to establish its condition pretty quickly to be able to offer help. If the animal is panting and drooling heavily, if it is drowsy, lethargic and uncoordinated, if it is vomiting or has collapsed, the dog is probably suffering from heatstroke, which can cause its internal organs to fail. Death will soon follow.

The first step is to move the animal to a cooler, shady area and try to contact a vet. You could then try to gently lower the animal's body temperature, by applying some cool water to its body - don't use very cold water or the dog could go into shock. Try to encourage the dog to drink a little cool water and use any other tools at your disposal, such as fans. As the animal's body temperature decreases and it begins to respond, get it to a vet as quickly as you can.

Keep your eyes open for dogs in hot cars this summer.

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