Dog left in hot car ‘was smiling’ excuse

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Media captionRSPCA officer Chris O’Brien drips with sweat as he experiences what it feels like to be locked in a hot car.

RSPCA officials were left stunned after being told not to worry by a pet owner who had locked their dog in a boiling hot car because “he was smiling”.

The explanation was one of 29 “ridiculous” excuses told to inspectors in Wales during one of the hottest weeks of the year.

Other reasons given included “I can’t help it if the shade moved” and “my dog is white, he’ll be fine”.

The RSPCA has renewed calls for owners not leave their animals in hot cars.

Holly Barber, who runs the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign, said: “There is absolutely no reason or excuse that warrants risking your pet’s life by leaving them in a car on their own in this heat.

“We’re pleading with people not to take the risk and to leave their pets at home where they will be safe and happy.”

Image copyright RSPCA CYMRU
Image caption Dogs need cooling down in the hot weather, to avoid heatstroke

Excuses given by owners for leaving their dog in a hot car

  • “My dog is white, he’ll be fine.”
  • “They’re fine, they’re smiling?” (Rather, the dogs were panting excessively)
  • “I parked the car in the shade when I got here, I can’t help it if the shade moved.”
  • “We only went to buy a new kitchen.”
  • “It’s OK, I’m a vet.”
  • “We didn’t think we’d be long.” (The owners had been at a Sunday church service)
  • “I’ve only been in the pub for half an hour; anyway it’s OK, I run a dog rescue centre.”


The animal charity received 167 emergency calls between 11 June and 24 June from people worried about dogs in hot cars.

They say that when it is 22C outside, the temperature can reach 47C inside a car within an hour.

A spokesman added: “A dog’s normal body temperature is around 39C (102F).

“Brain damage may develop at body temperatures of 41C (106F) and a lethal body temperature is approximately 42C (108F).

“Dogs are covered in fur and do not sweat in the same way as humans do. Unlike humans, dogs pant to help keep themselves cool. The effectiveness of panting is reduced at high temperatures.”

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