A DOG was left in a searing hot car for more than three hours while the family who owned it went to the Sea Life centre.
The elderly dog, believed to be a spaniel, was discovered by workers at Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary in the car park.
Curator Lyndsey Crawford-Darwell managed to spray the pet with water through a slightly open back window to cool it down.
Although the team put out five announcements for the owners to return if they were inside, nobody came forward.
Just before the police arrived to break into the car, the owners turned up and “tried their very best to justify the situation” – Sea Life staff claimed.
Speaking to The Sun Online, Lyndsey said: “Things got very heated because we told the lady she was in the wrong, and I still believe she is.
“We stayed with the car for over an hour and put out announcements but no one came out. We’ve had things like this happen before but people normally hear the announcements and come outside really apologetic.
“If the dog was in a worse state then I would have smashed the window myself and taken a prosecution. It made me feel extremely angry.
“I have a 14-year-old dog called Selkie and I would never do anything like this. Dogs carry 10 degrees more body heat than we do. It’s like sitting in a hot car in a sleeping bag, anyone would feel sick after that.”
The centre posted a scathing response, saying there was “no excuse” for the dog to be left in a car in such hot conditions.
Writing on Facebook, the centre posted: “DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN YOUR CAR! Not for any length of time and especially not during summer months.
“We don’t let dogs into SEA LIFE Scarborough so please ensure you arrange suitable care for your dog if you intend to visit us.
“There is absolutely NO excuse and NO justification. You should NEVER leave your dog, or any other creature, in a hot car.
“Thankfully, the dogs breathing rapidly decreased following being doused in water and being released from the car. The police will be in contact with the owners.
“We will regularly be monitoring our car park throughout summer and we will not hesitate to call the police on any cars with creatures inside.
“Having a dog means you have a duty to be responsible”.
What to do when you see a distressed dog trapped in a car
- Call the police and ask for their assistance
- If the police can’t attend but the dog is in desperate need of help you may consider taking further action
- Explain to the police what you intend to do
- Take a photo of the dog trapped in the car
- Take the name and number of any witnesses
- If you do forcibly gain access to the car you should be willing to defend your actions in court
People responded with fury on social media at the owners’ callous actions, with one saying: “Need banning from having the honour of sharing their life with a dog, certainly don’t deserve the unconditional love a dog gives, treating a dog like this is absolutely disgusting and unforgivable.”
Another added: “The poor dog…but a relief he was alright. Some owners are just oblivious to what can happen. I hope they get a proper telling off.”
Others commended the staff’s actions in helping the dog, with one person saying: “Well done everyone involved and for publishing it on your page. Hope their car got very wet. Absolutely no excuse for leaving a dog in a hot car cooking to death!”
Lyndsey added: “I just want people to be educated. Please don’t leave your dog in a car on a hot day. If it’s old, it’s especially important.”
The Sun Online has contacted North Yorkshire Police for comment.
The RSPCA says a dog should never be left alone in a car on a warm day, even if a window is left open, and if you see a dog in distress you should call 999.
If it is 22 degrees, it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees inside the car within the hour.
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Although many people’s instincts may be to break the car window, without proper justification it can be classed as criminal damage.
But the law states you have a lawful excuse to commit damage if the owner of the property would consent to the damage if they knew the circumstances.
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