Police stopped a helpless Yorkshire Terrier from roasting to death after it was left in a hot car – by smashing the driver’s window.
PCSOs Bethany De’Ath and James Lievesley spotted the dog desperately trying to crouch in the footwell of the car on one of the hottest days of the year.
The officers, from Nottinghamshire Police, were forced to smash the driver’s window of the car to rescue the 12-year-old pooch.
Distressing pictures of the dog showed it looking terrified while desperately panting before it was saved on Monday (18/7).
It was spotted alone in the car in Duke Street car park in Bulwell, Notts., at 10am. Temperatures later soared to 24C (75F).
PCSO De’Ath said: “The windows were up, apart from one which was open an inch. There was no fresh air getting in.
“We put our fingers in the car and it was like a sauna in there, so we tried to contact the owner.
“The dog was 12-years-old. He looked agitated and was hot and bothered.
“When we tried knocking on the window he got more agitated and was clearly extremely distressed.”
Thankfully, the terrier was given water and checked over by the dog warden before going home with its owner, who was given a verbal warning about leaving animals in hot cars.
Police and vets are warning people of the dangers of leaving their pets in cars during heatwaves.
Vet Graham Oliver, principal at Hucknall-based Buckley House and East Midlands Referrals, said: “It’s quite shocking how rapidly temperatures in a car can go up. You only have to cast your mind back to the days of vinyl seats, when you couldn’t get in your car.
“It can soar well above 100C in ten or 15 minutes if a car’s in direct sunlight. It’s basically a green house.
“A human being in the same circumstances would probably expire. If you left a baby in a car it would suffer the same fate, but people don’t do that.”
Last year the RPSCA attended 8,779 incidents of dogs which were left in hot cars across the UK.
What to do if you see a dog in a car on a hot day:
Dial 999 and report a dog in a hot car to police. The RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough and, with no powers of entry, police assistance is required.
If the animal is displaying any sign of heatstroke – such as panting heavily, drooling excessively, is lethargic or uncoordinated, or collapsed and vomiting – call 999.
If the situation becomes critical and police can’t attend, many people’s instinct is to break into the car to free the dog. However, without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage.
Tell the police of your intentions and take photos or footage of the dog as well as names and numbers of witnesses.
The law states 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.
Once removed from the car, move the dog to a shaded/cool area and douse him/her with cool water. Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water.
You can call the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 for advice but, if a dog is in danger, dialling 999 should always be the first step.