Melton Borough Council

Melton Borough Council supports RSPCA campaign

Published Friday, 22nd June 2018 Photograph of Councillor Mal Sheldon holding an RSPCA poster

As the weather heats up, Melton Borough Council are reminding dog owners of the dangers of leaving their pets in parked cars.

While many people assume their pet will be ok if the window is left open or they park in the shade, the truth is the internal temperature of the car can still rocket up from 22C to 47C within just 60 minutes causing animals to develop heat stroke and become very ill.

Chair of the Place Committee, Councillor Mal Sheldon said: “As a pet friendly town we think that it’s really important that we support this RSPCA initiative. We will be putting up posters around our car parks and posting on social media to raise awareness of this issue that sadly occurs all too often. As a dog owner myself, I care passionately about animal welfare and am proud to say that we as a Council are backing this very important campaign.”

RSPCA campaign manager Holly Barber said: “We are grateful to Melton Borough Council for helping us to spread the message of our Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign. Many people think it will be fine just to leave their pets for a minute or two but we know that this is all it takes for temperatures inside a car to soar to dangerous levels.

“We have been doing a lot of campaigning lately about the dangers of leaving your dog in a hot car, and it’s really worrying that despite this, some people are still putting their pets in potentially life-threatening situations.

“Our main advice to owners is not to leave dogs in cars and our main advice to passers-by is to call 999 if they’re concerned about an animal in a hot environment.”

The RSPCA campaign “Dogs Die in Hot Cars” advises people to do the following if they see a dog in distress 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.
  • 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).
  • 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 RSPCA  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.

 

~ends~

 

 

For more information please contact:

Hazel Paterson - Communications Officer

Melton Borough Council

hpaterson@melton.gov.uk

Tel: 01664504294