The RSPCA has issued a stark warning just as a stranger rescued a dog left in a car on the hottest day of the year so far.
As temperatures soared to 28C with brilliant sunshine all around, the poor pet was pictured sitting in the back of the vehicle near a KFC in Southport.
They said: “Anyone near KFC town! Dog in the car in the sun, looks too hot to be there?”
More than 100 people commented on the post, concerned for the pet apparently being left in the hot weather, with many offering to help
One woman wrote: “Yes he’s ok they’re giving him lots of water. Massive well done to the man who got him out without smashing the car up. X”
It is not known if the RSCPA was called to the scene.
Temperatures today are set to hit highs of 30C prompting the RSPCA to issues guidance on the care of dogs in hot weather, especially regarding leaving them in any vehicle.
A statement on the RSPCA website reads: “Never leave your dog alone in a car on a warm day. If you see a dog in distress in a hot car, dial 999.
“Many people still believe it’s okay to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they’re parked in the shade, but the truth is, it’s still a very dangerous situation for the dog.
“A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn’t feel that warm. When it’s 22C, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47C within the hour.”
A spokesperson said: “In an emergency, we may not be able to attend quickly enough, and with no powers of entry, we’d need police assistance at such an incident.
“Don’t be afraid to dial 999, the police will inform us if animal welfare assistance is required.”
They continued: “Establish the animal’s health and condition. If they’re displaying any signs of heatstroke dial 999 immediately.
“If the situation becomes critical for the dog and the police are too far away or unable to attend, many people’s instinct will be to break into the car to free the dog.
“If you decide to do this, please be aware that without proper justification, this could be classed as criminal damage and, potentially, you may need to defend your actions in court.
“Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do and why. Take pictures or videos of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident.
“The law states that 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 (section 5(2)(a) Criminal Damage Act 1971).
“Once removed, if the dog is displaying signs of heatstroke, follow our emergency first aid advice. This could mean the difference between life and death for the dog.”