The Scottish SPCA is urging pet owners not to leave their dogs in hot cars during the current spell of warm weather in Scotland.
Concerned members of the public have already been contacting the charity’s animal helpline after seeing distressed dogs left inside vehicles on hot days.
Mike Flynn, chief superintendent, said: “Imagine being trapped inside a hot car wearing a fur coat for minutes, possibly hours, and you are some way to understanding how a dog left inside a hot vehicle feels.
“Many people don’t realise that even on warm, cloudy days, vehicles can effectively turn into ovens and dogs can overheat in minutes.
“Leaving a window open or providing water is simply not good enough. Dogs can’t sweat the way humans do and need to pant to cool down which can lead to severe dehydration and hyperventilation.
“We run this campaign every year but we continue to receive a large number of calls from concerned members of the public during warm spells and we fear some owners just don’t understand the danger they are putting their pets in.”
The Scottish SPCA has warned that last year a woman from Stirling was convicted after leaving a dog in the boot of her vehicle on a hot day.
Chief Supt. Flynn continued, “The woman left a dog inside the boot of her car without water for approximately an hour on a hot day.
“Tragically the Yorkshire terrier, which belonged to the woman’s father, was diagnosed with heatstroke and died after suffering a cardiac seizure.
“We hope this case will serve as a warning to owners of the horrifying consequences of leaving their dog in the car when it’s warm outside.”
Scottish SPCA posters highlighting the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars are available to be displayed in local communities. To request copies please phone the charity on 03000 999 999 selecting option 5 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.