Fewer reports of dogs in hot cars in Wiltshire and Hampshire

Fewer reports of dogs in hot cars in Wiltshire and Hampshire

Published at 1:20pm 3rd May 2019.

4 minute read

The RSPCA's launching a campaign to encourage owners to NEVER leave their pet in a locked vehicle.

Their message of 'Dogs Die in Hot Cars' seems to be getting through locally, but the animal welfare charity says there's more work to do.

During 2018 throughout Wiltshire, there were 90 emergency calls to police via the 999 number where a dog had been left in a hot car - that's down 13% on the year before.

In Hampshire, there were 379 cases across the county, which is down 8% on the 2017 figures.

RSPCA Dogs Die In Hot Cars logo
The RSPCA is leading the campaign this summer, with advice for owners and people concerned for an animal


Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign manager, Holly Barber from the RSPCA, said:

"Last year was our busiest for three years with almost 8,300 emergency calls made to the RSPCA about this issue - that's a 5% increase from 2017 and a 15% rise from 2016.

"It's extremely concerning that despite all of our campaigning, dog owners are still ignoring our warnings and risking their pets' lives by leaving them alone in cars on warm days. How many more dogs need to die before people realise that that split second decision - usually made due to convenience - could have life-changing consequences?"

The campaign throughout this summer is being backed by Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, Blue Cross, British Parking Association, British Veterinary Association (BVA), Dogs Trust, The Kennel Club, The Mayhew Animal Home, National Animal Welfare Trust, The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), PDSA, RSPCA, Scottish SPCA, #TeamOtisUK and Wood Green The Animals Charity.

Dogs die in hot cars Infographic - RSPCA

Dogs die in hot cars - An infographic created by the RSPCA


The British Veterinary Association (BVA) surveyed vets in Autumn, with 26% of them saying cases of dogs requiring treatment for heat-related conditions in the previous summer.

Almost one in seven vets (13%) had seen a dog coming into their practice suffering as a result of being left in a car.

BVA junior vice president Daniella Dos Santos said:

"Vets all too often see the unfortunate and sometimes tragic consequences of dogs being left on their own in cars, and it's deeply worrying that so many owners are still prepared to take this risk despite numerous warnings. With summer just around the corner, it's vital that everyone thinks twice about leaving dogs in a hot car even for a short while: 'not long' is too long."

There's also a reminder to owners that temperatures can quickly rise within a vehicle, caravan, conservatory or outbuilding, even if it doesn't feel warm outside.

For example, if it's 22C outside, it can get up to 47C inside for the animals.

RSPCA Dogs Die In Hot Cars
This is Ollie - a four month old terrier puppy. He was found in a hot car on Easter Monday, suffering from possible heat stroke. He was put on a drip and has luckily now recovered


  • In an emergency, it is best to 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 would need to assist
  • If the situation becomes critical and police can't attend, many people's instinct is to break into the car to free the dog - please be aware that, without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage
  • 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
  • If the dog isn't displaying signs of heatstroke, establish how long the dog has been in the car and make a note of the registration

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.

There's more information about the Dogs Die In Hot Cars campaign on the RSPCA website.

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