Great Britain is a dog-loving nation, with more than 8.5 million pooches kept as pets, but a countless number of dogs die every year after being left alone in hot cars.
To help raise awareness, ŠKODA has teamed up with the RSPCA to support the ‘Dogs Die in Hot Cars’ campaign. The campaign aims to show families they should never leave a dog alone in a vehicle and always keep windows open, or use air conditioning while driving to keep pooches in maximum comfort.
With temperatures over the last week rising to a sizzling 34 degrees Celsius in places, and an unbearable 60+ degrees Celsius inside vehicles, there has been a notable rise in reports of dogs suffering inside hot cars. On Twitter, the RSPCA has seen an 800 per cent rise in enquiries and a 900 per cent spike in social media mentions. There has also been a 91-point jump in Google search rankings of the search term, ‘how can I keep my dog cool in the car?’, showing that pet owners are desperately seeking guidance on the topic.
Temperatures in cars can rise very quickly. Even at just 22 degrees Celsius outside, a car can reach an unbearable 47 degrees Celsius within an hour. A dog can die within minutes in a hot car, even if the owner has ‘just popped to the shop.’
A ŠKODA spokesperson said: “Any dog dying in a hot car is unacceptable. Here at ŠKODA we want to promote all elements of responsible driving and this includes pet welfare. The message is simple, never leave a dog in a car alone, particularly during the summer.
“We worked with the RSPCA on the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign to help convey a positive message around what is a difficult and sometimes harrowing subject – cool dogs are happy dogs. We hope that drivers will benefit from the RSPCA’s advice and dogs will be safer.”
In 2016, the RSPCA received 7,187 calls about animals left in potentially life-threatening hot environments – the majority of which were dogs.
Kat Litchfield, Corporate Partnerships Manager at the RSPCA said, “We’re delighted that ŠKODA is involved in the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign.Dogs are part of the family and leaving them for just a few minutes in a warm car is enough to cause serious suffering or even death. Our message has been loud and clear for years: don’t leave dogs alone in parked cars. If you spot a distressed animal in a vehicle, call 999 immediately.”
There are things that drivers can do this summer to ensure their pets are safe while travelling, no matter what the distance: