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Wiltshire Police smash through hot car window to save dog

An officer smashed through a car window in Wiltshire to save a dog from overheating Credit: Wiltshire Police

A Wiltshire Police officer smashed through a window to rescue a dog from a hot car.

The force released footage of one of their officers breaking in to save the animal which had been left with no water, and had become tangled in its lead.

A concerned member of the public contacted the police after realising the dog had been left in the car for a number of hours.

Police say the pet owner was "very remorseful" and, because they had no other concerns about the dog's welfare, let them off with a warning and a £50 donation to an animal charity.

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The temperature within vehicles can more than double in an hour even with the windows are open.

On this particular day it was 21 degrees Celsius meaning that the temperature in the vehicle was in excess of 40 degrees Celsius.

Prolonged exposure to this temperature can be dangerous to people but more so to our pets.

– Wiltshire Police
8,290
Number of calls to RSPCA concerning animals with heat exhaustion, 90% were about dogs in cars
The RSPCA, and police forces across the country, urge pet owners to keep their furry family members cool and safe during the summer Credit: PA Images

As we approach summer, police forces and the RSPCA are urging people to think about their pets' welfare even more during warm weather.

How do you keep your pets cool?

The RSPCA advice during the hot weather includes:

  • Never leave pets unattended in hot environments
  • Freeze water bowls before filling them to keep the liquid cool
  • Give pets damp towels to lie on, or let dogs lie in a paddling pool
  • Use pet-safe sun cream to protect animal skin
  • Ensure animals always have access to shade and drinking water
  • Only transport pets and farm animals when absolutely necessary
  • Keep fish tanks out of direct sunlight and top up water in ponds
The RSPCA urge people to be vigilant during hot weather to make sure animals are kept safe Credit: RSPCA

What should you do if you think a dog is suffering heatstroke in a hot car?

  • If the dog appears to be showing signs of heatstroke - they're panting heavily, dribbling excessively, are lethargic or uncoordinated, have collapsed or have vomited - then call 999 immediately.
  • If you believe the dog is in a critical condition, or the police cannot attend immediately, your instinct may be to break into the car to free the dog.
  • However, if you do decide to do this, without proper justification it could be classed as criminal damage and you could be prosecuted.
  • If you have made the decision to break into the car, make sure you tell the police why you are going to do this and take photos or video of the dog, also get the names and contact details of any witnesses.
  • Under section 5(2)(a) of the Criminal Damage Act 1971, you can legally commit damage if you believe that the owner of the property that you damage would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances