SNP MSP Derek Mackay is urging Renfrewshire’s dog owners not to leave their pets in hot cars this summer.
Mr Mackay is highlighting research undertaken by Dogs Trust which shows that almost 48% of people believe it is ok to leave a dog in a car if counter-measures are taken, such as leaving a window open or parking under a tree.
As well as the Dogs Trust research, a recent AA-Populus survey has revealed 21% of dog owners have left their dog unattended in a car for longer than 20 minutes, while last year AA patrols attended more than 1,000 call outs due to pets being locked in cars.
The Renfrewshire North & West MSP is warning constituents that on even wet or cooler days, leaving their pet in the car even for a few minutes can be dangerous.
Mr Mackay said:
“With temperatures rising over the summer it is more important than ever that Renfrewshire’s dog owners are warned of the dangers of leaving their pets unattended in cars. Even on cooler or very wet days, cars can become very hot, very quickly, and be fatal for dogs.
“You just need to touch the dashboard or seat of a car to see how hot it can get.
“Most owners do not appreciate how quickly a dog can deteriorate or even die in a hot car, or understand that parking in the shade or leaving the window down will not make it any safer.
“If you are carrying your dog in the car over the summer carry plenty of drinking water for it, use sun blinds on the windows and do not leave the dog in a parked car, even for a few minutes.
“If you do see a dog in distress in a parked car call the police or the SSPCA immediately.”