Woman 'would not hesitate' to act after saving dogs amid heatwave

Bulldog in a hot car

A shop worker from Burwell helped tend to two dogs who were spotted inside a car on their own amid soaring temperatures. - Credit: Pexels/Tim Gouw

A shop worker who spotted two dogs shut inside a car during hot weather hopes her actions can help other pet owners realise the dangers a heatwave can cause. 

Amelia (not her real name), from Burwell, saw the dogs alone in a car while on shift in Royston at around 3.15pm on July 17 and raised the alarm. 

“I tried to raise the alarm first and give the owner a chance first; many people are unaware of the dangers,” Amelia said. 

“Unfortunately, I was unable to make contact before the decision was made to release the dogs.” 

Amelia alongside a staff member from a nearby supermarket checked on the dogs, and found that the dogs’ owner left the car’s air conditioning on but the car doors were unlocked. 

So, a decision was made to release the two adult dogs from the car. 

However, the owner was not so pleased with the decision to free the dogs after returning to the car at around 3.45pm. 

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“It just so happened that an off-duty Metropolitan Police dog handler was shopping in M&S Royston at the time,” said Amelia.  

“He wasn't happy either and has reported the incident; he felt that the welfare of the dogs was compromised and that I had taken the correct action.” 

Amelia, who said the dogs are now fine, found that many customers were upset by the situation. 

And although she does not want to be involved in a similar incident again, she wants others to be aware of the risks extreme heat can pose to dogs. 

“Given how hot it is at present, it's best to leave your dog at home,” Amelia added. 

“I would not hesitate to act again if I was put in a similar situation.  

“Dogs find it much harder to get cool than humans; they can only sweat through their paces and heatstroke is a real problem.” 

The British Veterinary Association (BVA) has released tips on looking after animals during hot weather

These include not leaving dogs in vehicles and watching out for signs of heatstroke such as heavy panting. 

The BVA also encourage regular access to fresh drinking water, adequate ventilation and shade from direct sunlight at all times. 

For more guidance, visit: https://bit.ly/3zfkQmS.