Horsham District Council’s Neighbourhood Warden, Chris Poore, was recently hailed a hero after rescuing a distressed dog from a car.
The Storrington & Sullington warden had been alerted by the police that someone had reported a Tibetan terrier was in a locked car in the library car park and was showing signs of distress.
The police were on their way, but would take a while to arrive and so asked Chris to help. Chris rushed to the scene and found that the car windows were only partly open and that the long-haired dog was slumped in the footwell, panting heavily.
After trying unsuccessfully to locate the owner, and realising that he needed to act quickly, Chris squirted water from his water bottle through the top of the window and drenched the dog in an attempt to cool it down. He then managed to gain access to the car via the open window. A local vet was already on the scene and took the dog back to his clinic to be checked over.
When the dog’s owner arrived back at the car he was talked to by the police, who by then had arrived.
Chris said: “Thankfully, the dog was unharmed and was feeling much better after having some water and cooling down. However, this story may not have had such a happy ending.
“This is a timely reminder to keep animals cool and hydrated in hot weather, and never to leave them unattended in a car on a warm day.
“I’m just relieved that someone reported it to the library staff and the police, and that I was able to get to the dog in time.”
RSPCA guidance states that it can quickly reach unbearable temperatures inside a car on a warm day and dogs will not be able to cool themselves down, even with a window open.
If anyone sees a dog in distress in a hot car, they should call 999 immediately. The police may also ask the RSPCA to attend if animal welfare is required.