Cruelty and dogs in cars

PUBLISHED: 17:40 03 August 2006 | UPDATED: 11:56 04 May 2010

LATE last Monday morning while in Market Street, Ely, I was shocked to see a German Shepherd shut in the boot of a BMW estate. The windows had been left slightly open but the sun was beating down on the rear window. The dog was in the full sun, unable to

LATE last Monday morning while in Market Street, Ely, I was shocked to see a German Shepherd shut in the boot of a BMW estate. The windows had been left slightly open but the sun was beating down on the rear window. The dog was in the full sun, unable to get into the main body of the car to seek shade or get near the open windows.

Ten minutes later I returned to see the car still in the same position and the dog panting hard. I contacted the dog warden at East Cambs District Council who agreed to meet me at the car. Eventually, at least 10 minutes later, she arrived. By this time myself and other concerned passers-by had covered the rear window with newspaper and poured over cold water.

The dog warden looked at the dog and informed us it was not stressed but she would have to call the police because she did not have the authority to enter the vehicle. The poor animal had been shut in the full sun for over 30 minutes, it could have been longer. I don't know how long it had been there before I first saw it.

Eventually the owner returned completely surprised at all the fuss. He told us the car had air con. Does he not realise it doesn't work if the engines off? He did not seem to think he had done anything wrong. Neither the police, who eventually arrived, or the dog warden were willing to take any action. I suggest both the dog owner and the dog warden visit the RSPCA website where it clearly states;

n Never leave a dog in a hot car

n If an animal in a car is panting for breath it may be on its way to suffering heatstroke

n Heatstroke can kill an animal very quickly

n Leaving windows open does not help

I thought this information was common sense but obviously some need it pointing out to them.

Also the car was in a 30 minute parking area and had gone well over that limit but the policeman who attended informed me there were no community support officers, who issue the parking tickets, in Ely that day. Surely this doesn't help Ely's ongoing parking problem.

I challenge the owner and dog warden to spend 30 minutes shut in the boot of a car in the full sun wearing a fur coat and see if they become stressed!

Amanda Murfitt

Littleport

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