Tesco’s sends supermarket staff round its carparks to check dogs aren’t left in owners’ vehicles
Tesco staff will patrol the carparks outside their stores to ensure dogs are not being left inside cars as the UK heatwave continues to sweep across the nation.
Employees at the supermarket chain, which has joined forces with the RSPCA, will help identify dogs that have been left behind inside shoppers’ vehicles as the country continues to face the extreme heat.
The move comes as Britain prepares for temperatures to soar to 89.6F (32C) today – just a day after mercury levels exceeded 86F in both England and Wales.
Staff at Tesco, who have joined forces with the RSPCA, will patrol the carparks outside their stores to help identify dogs that have been left behind inside shoppers’ vehicles. (Stock image)
As part of the initiative, staff at the supermarket giant have been trained in what to look for if they find a dog is in trouble and will also know what to do if a canine shows signs of a heatstroke.
A Tesco spokesperson told Birmingham Live: ‘We’re working with the RSPCA & all of our colleagues in store have received training to ensure animal welfare is protected.
‘Our colleagues regularly patrol our car parks & are given guidance on what to do if they spot a dog unattended in a car.’
What should you do if you see a dog in a car during hot weather?
The RSPCA says you should try and establish if the dog is showing any signs of heatstroke such as heavy panting or drooling.
Other signs of heatstroke include lethargy and vomiting.
If the dog is showing signs of heatstroke, the charity says dial 999 immediately.
If police are unavailable and the situation becomes critical, you must be careful before taking the decision to smash the window as this could be considered criminal damage and you may have to defend your actions in court.
Make sure you tell the police what you intend to do and why.
Take pictures or videos of the dog and the names and numbers of witnesses to the incident.
Last year dog welfare experts at Nottingham Trent University found leaving dogs in parked cars can be dangerous all year round, even in the winter when outside temperatures are relatively low.
During the study, scientists monitored internal temperatures of cars in the UK, without dogs inside them, every day for two years.
They found temperatures exceeded 77F (25C) in every month of the year – high enough to cause overheating in breeds with flat faces, such as bulldogs and pugs.
The study used data loggers to continuously record internal temperatures of four vehicles at 15-minute intervals over the two-year period.
They found internal car temperatures exceeded 95F (35C) between April and September, which is hot enough to cause overheating in all dog breeds.
Temperatures rose to this level on almost a third of all days from May to July.
The team also found the highest internal temperatures in vehicles occurred between 4pm to 5pm.
Most dogs are comfortable at temperatures between 59F and 77F, but this is dependent on breed, coat length, fitness and other factors, the researchers said.
‘Our work shows an even bigger risk to leaving dogs in parked vehicles than previously thought,’ said study author Dr Anne Carter, a senior lecturer at Nottingham Trent University’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences.
‘We known that some dog owners are already not heeding the warning message about the risk of leaving their dog in the vehicle.
Dog welfare experts at Nottingham Trent University last year found leaving dogs in parked cars can be dangerous all year round. (Stock image)
‘People assume the risk is only midday during the summer, when in fact cars can reach potentially dangerous temperatures all year round, with late afternoon the hottest time period.
‘As heatstroke can be fatal in dogs, public awareness campaigns should consider launching in April or earlier, and also potentially include warnings about the increased risk to dogs in cars in the late afternoon.’
The latest move comes as both England and Wales recorded the hottest day of the year on Sunday, beating records set on Saturday, and forecasters predict it could be even warmer throughout the week up to Thursday.
In England, 88.88F was recorded in Heathrow, overtaking Saturday’s record-breaking 86.54F recorded in Coton in the Elms, Derbyshire.
Wales recorded 86.36F in Cardiff, compared with 85.28F reached in Usk, Monmouthshire, on Saturday.
As the temperatures continue to soar, Public Health England and the Met Office are working together to ensure that people stay safe in the hot conditions, urging the public to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen and assist anyone who is more vulnerable to the heat.