There’s nothing like a mini heatwave and a spot of much-needed sunshine to put a smile on the faces of everyone, is there? But if you’re a dog owner, you do need to be aware of the dangers of leaving your pooch in a hot car all by itself. Over the last Bank Holiday, the RSPCA received 217 calls from concerned members of the public about dogs left locked in hot cars across England, approximately three calls every hour. Holly Barber, RSPCA campaign manager, explained that dogs can die in hot cars, yet people think it’s fine to leave their pets in vehicles for a minute or two… when this is all it takes for temperatures in a car to reach dangerous levels. If you do see a dog in a hot car and you think it’s an emergency, dial 999 to report the matter to the police. The RSPCA may not be able to get to the animal quickly enough and the charity also doesn’t have powers of entry so police assistance may be required. Should the dog be suffering from heatstroke (signs of which include excessive drooling, lethargy, collapse and vomiting), move it to a shaded area once it’s out of the car and pour small amounts of cool water over them. Never use cold water as this could send the animal into shock. Allow the dog to drink small amounts and once he’s cooled down, rush him to the vet as soon as you can. If you decide you need to break into the car yourself, make sure that unless you have proper justification it could be considered criminal damage. Always tell the police what you intend to do and why, and take photos or videos of the dog, as well as names and numbers of any witnesses to the incident.