With the summer season picking up steam and dogs dying from the heat in greater numbers, charities such as the RSPCA are desperately campaigning to save lives. Yet, while their efforts are certainly of great help, there are still a lot of dog owners who just can’t comprehend what’s happening to dogs in hot cars.
Recently, RSPCA officials were baffled by some of the responses from pet owners they got. One person who had locked their dog in a boiling hot car told them that “he [the dog] was smiling“.
And that wasn’t the only idiotic explanation the RSPCA inspectors got. Other reasons included “I can’t help it if the shade moved” and “my dog is white, he’ll be fine“.
This, of course, has only strengthened the RSPCA resolve to save lives by educating the public. Holly Barber, who runs the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign, said: “There is absolutely no reason or excuse that warrants risking your pet’s life by leaving them in a car on their own in this heat.
“We’re pleading with people not to take the risk and to leave their pets at home where they will be safe and happy.”
Excuses given by owners for leaving their dog in a hot car:
- “My dog is white, he’ll be fine.”
- “They’re fine, they’re smiling?” (Rather, the dogs were panting excessively)
- “I parked the car in the shade when I got here, I can’t help it if the shade moved.”
- “We only went to buy a new kitchen.”
- “It’s OK, I’m a vet.”
- “We didn’t think we’d be long.” (The owners had been at a Sunday church service)
- “I’ve only been in the pub for half an hour; anyway it’s OK, I run a dog rescue center.”
Just between 11 June and 24 June, the charity has received 167 emergency calls from people about dogs in hot cars.
RSPCA has also stated that when it is 22C (72F) outdoors in the sun, the temperature inside a car can reach 47C (117) within an hour.
Another RSPCA spokesman added that “A dog’s normal body temperature is around 39C (102F).
“Brain damage may develop at body temperatures of 41C (106F) and a lethal body temperature is approximately 42C (108F).
“Dogs are covered in fur and do not sweat in the same way as humans do. Unlike humans, dogs pant to help keep themselves cool. The effectiveness of panting is reduced at high temperatures.”