It’s never a good idea to leave your pet in a locked car. Dogs are especially prone to deadly heat stroke, and leaving them unattended for an extended time—even with the windows down—can be dangerous or even fatal. Hundreds of dogs die every year from hot cars.
At the height of summer, when the heat is rising to record-breaking temperatures, it’s especially important to remember this—and be on the lookout for dogs in danger.
Luckily, British police officers were nearby to step in to save one poor dog.
On July 24, the city of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England was facing temperatures of over 90 degrees, according to The Sun. On this hot summer day, someone alerted Sgt. Ian Micklethwaite, from the West Yorkshire Police, of a dog left unattended in a parked car outside a Sainsbury’s supermarket.
While the window was cracked open slightly, the dog was still clearly in danger. Sgt. Micklethwaite tweeted that while the dog was only left for about ten minutes, he was already starting to pant and overheat.
Just been waved down and alerted to a dog left in a car.
Owner had gone shopping in the adjacent Supermarket. Tannoy Announcement made, owner returned. In the space of less than 10mins the dog was starting to pant / overheat. Just don’t do it 🐶 #DogsDieInHotCars pic.twitter.com/Cu5GUN69Vy
— SgtMicklethwaite (@WYP_SgtIanM) July 24, 2019
The officer made an announcement in the supermarket, and the owner returned, and the dog was safe once again.
Still, it’s easy to think how things could’ve gone differently. During a heatwave in the United States last weekend, three dogs died in a hot car after being left by their owner:
While the story in Leeds has a much happier ending, it’s still a reminder of how owners could be leaving their dogs in grave danger without even realizing it.
“Many people still believe that it’s OK to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog,” the West Yorkshire Police wrote in a Facebook post.
“A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm.” They also gave instructions on what to do if you encounter a dog in a hot car:
Dogs die in hot carsNever leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial…
The information couldn’t have been posted at a more crucial time: on Thursday Britain experienced its second-hottest day ever.
Remember to stay alert, this summer and beyond: don’t leave your dogs in cars, and help dogs in need if you come across them.
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