Distressed dogs left in hot cars across West Yorkshire during heatwave

What to do if you see a dog in a car on a warm day.
What to do if you see a dog in a car on a warm day.

West Yorkshire Police received a number of calls reporting distressed dogs left in cars during the hot weather yesterday.

Temperatures hit 27C but some owners still left their pooches in cars in the extreme heat.

In a post on Twitter, Response Sergeant Katie Madden urged owners to leave their dogs at home during a heatwave.

She said: "Numerous calls for West Yorkshire Police Patrol Team today re distressed dogs left in in vehicles in this heat, with windows left open just an inch or 2.

"What is wrong with people?

"Leave the dogs at home in the cool shade or at the very least, park somewhere shaded and the windows down!"

West Yorkshire Police previously issued a set of instructions of what to do if you witness a dog in a hot car.

What to do if you see a dog in a car on a warm day:

"In an emergency, we may not be able to attend quickly enough, and with no powers of entry, we'd need police assistance at such an incident.

"Don't be afraid to dial 999, the police will inform us if animal welfare assistance is required."

Help a dog in a hot car:

•Establish the animal's health and condition. If they're displaying any signs of heatstroke dial 999 immediately.

•If the situation becomes critical for the dog and the police are too far away or unable to attend, many people's instinct will be to break into the car to free the dog. If you decide to do this, please be aware that without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage and, potentially, you may need to defend your actions in court.

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•Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do and why. Take pictures or videos of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident. 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).

Once removed, if the dog is displaying signs of heatstroke, follow emergency first aid advice:

This could mean the difference between life and death for the dog.

If the dog isn't displaying symptoms of heatstroke

•Establish how long the dog has been in the car. A 'pay and display' ticket could help.

•Make a note of the car's registration. If the owner returns, but you still feel the situation was dangerous for the dog, you may still report the incident to the police.

•If you're at a shop, venue or event ask the staff to make an announcement to alert the owner of the situation.

•If possible, get someone to stay with the dog to monitor their condition. If they begin to display signs of distress or heatstroke, be prepared to dial 999.

•You can also call our 24-hour cruelty line for advice on 0300 1234 999. However, if the dog's in danger, dialing 999 should always be the first step.