An animal rescue charity has warned people to look after their pets in the heatwave after police smashed a car window to save a dog trapped in a hot car.
Last week, police were called to a car park outside Worthing Hospital to save the distressed pet.
Sussex Police said: “Police received a report of a dog being left in a car just before midday on Thursday (21 June).
“The caller initially reported the matter to the RSPCA and was advised to report it to Sussex Police.
“Officers attended the scene and the dog appeared to be in distress. A window of the car was smashed to gain access to the dog.
“The dog was taken to a vets and the matter was passed to the RSPCA.”
This comes as Billy Elliot, senior officer at Wadars Animal Rescue in Hangleton Lane, Ferring, offered advice to pet owners about looking after their animals in the heat.
Aside from ‘common sense stuff’ like not keeping pets in hot cars and making sure they had plenty of cold, clean water, he urged owners to consider the position of the sun when leaving animals outside, particularly animals in hutches, as they might not stay in the shade as the sun moved.
Giving pets ice cubes as treats was one simple way to keep their body temperature down, and when exercising dogs outside, two or three 10 minute sessions was far better than an hour’s walk.
If pets do overheat, Billy said owners should put dogs in a cold bath or hose them down, or put a cold, damp towel over cats. The summer season is the perfect time for pets with longer hair to have their fur clipped back, Billy added.
He said: “Animals have fur coats. So with us, if the hot weather comes along, we get the shorts and t-shirts on; but they can’t do that, so their body temperatures just go up and up.”
Giving dogs treats like a Kong – a chew toy that can be filled with food – when you leave the house is a simple way to change a pet’s behaviour if they get distressed staying at home alone: reducing the risk of having to take them with you in your car.
For people with bird baths, make sure to top it up with cold, clean water to help wildlife. Billy and the Wadars Animal Rescue Team are currently rescuing 15 to 20 seagull chicks a day which have fallen off roofs after wandering from their nests looking for shade.
For more information about the charity’s work, call 01903 247111 or visit wadars.co.uk.