Don’t leave your dog in a hot car: Council issues timely warning to pet owners

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With the arrival of the warm, sunny weather, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council has issued a reminder to dog owners not to leave dogs in the car.

Describing the summer sunshine as “don’t leave your pets in the car weather”, a council spokesperson warned dog owners that when the temperature is 22°C (72°F) outside, the temperature inside the car can soar to 47°C (117°) within one hour.

Dogs pant to keep themselves cool, which also raises the temperature in the car. In a hot stuffy car, leaving a window open or a sunshield on your windscreen won’t keep your car cool enough, the spokesperson stressed.

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Chairman of Environmental Services, Councillor James Baird commented: “If it is warm outside and you are going out in the car, check that your destination is dog friendly. You won’t be able to leave your dog in the car and you don’t want your day out to be ruined.

“Under the Welfare of Animals Act, you have a legal duty of care to your animals and if you put them at risk you will face prosecution.

“If you are leaving your dog at home it is important to make sure that wherever your dog is, they are always able to move into a cooler, ventilated environment if they are feeling hot. Never leave your dog alone in a glass conservatory or caravan and make sure they always have a good supply of drinking water. You don’t want to be responsible for the terrible suffering of your pet.”

He added: “If your dog shows any symptoms of heatstroke, move him or her to a shaded, cool area and call your vet immediately for advice. It is important to lower their body temperature gradually by dousing them in cool water but not cold, to avoid shock and let them drink small amounts of cool water until their breathing starts to settle.”

Anyone concerned about the welfare of a dog or other pet locked in a parked car should call Animal Welfare on 028 9244 7861 (Monday – Friday during office hours) or 07824 994490 (out-of-hours). Reports can also be passed on to the PSNI using the non-emergency number, 101.

For further information email animalwelfare@lisburncastlrereagh.go.uk