Ten dogs have been found in a “distressed” state locked inside a small hot car in scorching 25C heat. Police were called to a road in Leeds on Tuesday after passers-by expressed their stark concerns for the trapped pups.
A parking ticket on the dashboard lead to fears the dogs may have been abandoned in the car for four hours. Witness Lola Simms shared her panic in a post on Facebook and wrote: “There’s a silver VW golf, that’s been left with the windows barely down on Hyde Park road, full of dogs. The dogs sounded very distressed when we walked past.”
Another passer-by, who did not want to be identified, said the situation was “stressful” and spectators worried about underreacting, Leeds Live reported.
She explained: “The windows were slightly open but seeing 10 dogs together makes you worry, and one of them looked a bit hot and sad to be honest! They were all barking quite a lot when they saw people and they did seem pretty hungry.”
Sophie Bailo was in the area when she saw Lola’s Facebook post and went to check on the dogs with her boyfriend.
“When we arrived the police were already there with a group of around five bystanders,” she said.
“The post mentioned that there was a parking ticket on the windscreen which was received at 2pm on that day, which meant the dogs would have been there for at least four hours as it was 6pm.
“They managed to get into the car and they tried to get in through the drivers side they all started to growl but then the police woman managed to give them some food.
“When the man arrived to his car he was walking away from Hyde Park skatepark with a skateboard in his hands.
“When the police asked him what was going on they asked him where had he been and he said he was visiting family and was about to take them all on a walk.”
West Yorkshire Police said they received a call at 5.37pm and attended the scene, where they found a window had been left open and water left inside the car for the animals.
No action was taken, and the owner of the dogs received advice.
A spokesperson for the force said: “At 5.37pm yesterday (Tuesday), police received a call relating to the welfare of some dogs which had been left in a car in Hyde Park Road, Leeds.
“An officer attended and found a window had been opened and water had been left for the animals.
“The owner was spoken to and given words of advice.”
The RSPCA reported it was pleased to see West Yorkshire Police responding to calls about animals in potentially distressing situations and reminded people that animals left in hot cars will lose their lives.
A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “As sweltering temperatures continue, it’s more important than ever to spread the message that dogs die in hot cars.
“Many people think it will be fine just to leave their pets for a short period of time, but not long is too long. Temperatures can soar to dangerous levels so quickly – and that can put dogs in serious danger.
What to do if you see an animal left unattended in a car in the heat
Call for the owner and alert staff if you’re by a shop
If you see a dog alone in a car during summer, you should first check to see if the owner is nearby.
If you’re near a shop, inform the staff and security, they’ll be able to make a shop-wide announcement to alert the owner.
The police have the authority to break a car window to rescue an animal in danger but you should not attempt to gain access to the vehicle as you could be fined for criminal damage or injure the animal inside the car.
Check the doors and inform the police of your intentions
If there’s no alternative, you should first check the doors to see if the car has been left unlocked.
If you do have to break a window to save the animal, make sure you call 999 and let the police know what you’re doing and take photos and videos to clearly record the situation.
You should also note down the license plate number and any witness details.