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Dogs trapped in hot cars

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Please do not leave dogs in cars – even for a few minutes – as temperatures inside vehicles can rise rapidly, which can make dogs very distressed.

Cars, conservatories and caravans are not suitable for dogs to be left in.

When the weather is warm, owners should always ensure their pets have plenty of cool, fresh drinking water available to them.

There is a dog in a vehicle that appears hot and distressed. What should I do?

This does depend on the level of distress. It is not generally advisable to force entry to the vehicle yourself:

What to do if the animal is showing signs of elevated distress

Elevated stress can include very heavy panting, the vehicle's windows are steamed up or the animal is panting heavily and is lethargic.

What to do if the animal is starting to show distress but the situation is not life threatening

Try to locate the owner to make them aware. If you are in a car park anywhere that may have a public address system, ask for an announcement to be put out.

In the meantime, please contact the police on 101, giving as much information as you can about the vehicle, registration number and location as officers can arrange to attend and try to make contact with the registered keeper of the vehicle to make them aware.

Please wait and make yourself known to the attending officer.

If the owner returns, please update the police by calling 101 and quoting the incident number you were provided.

If the matter is getting near life or death for the animal

Please call Nottinghamshire Police on 999 stressing the urgency.

If the police don't have time to get there, then you have to decide if you should take action. The law states that you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if:

…At the time of the act or acts alleged to constitute the offence you believed that the person or persons whom you believe to be entitled to consent to the destruction of or damage to the property in question…would so consent to it if s/he…had known of the destruction or damage and its circumstances."

- Section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971. This legal reference is slightly modified for clarity.

Don't do this unless certain of your ground and are prepared to defend your actions in court.

For more information

For more information on what to do and helping animals that are suffering heatstroke, please visit the RSPCA website.

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