Electronic roadside signage in Wales will soon display messages highlighting the dangers of leaving canine companions in hot cars – and has been lauded as “great news for dogs” by a delighted RSPCA Cymru.
Correspondence from the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport confirms that the Welsh Government will look to accommodate the messaging when signs are not being used for operational purposes.
RSPCA campaigners urge members of the public to dial 999 if they see a dog in distress in a hot car. They say being locked in a vehicle in this way can be “fatal” for the dogs.
The Welsh Government has said they “wholeheartedly support” the conveyed message, and “owing to the severity of the issue” will ensure that Variable Message Signs (VMS) in Wales will soon present bilingual warnings about the risk to canines of being left in hot vehicles.
It is proposed that VMS sites across Wales display:
CEIR POETH YN LLADD CWN
DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS
RSPCA Cymru has worked alongside Newport West Assembly Member Jayne Bryant in calling for the introduction of the bespoke messaging on message signs in Wales.
They marked the announcement on Glasllwch Lane motorway bridge, in Newport today (4 October) – accompanied by Rascal, a seven-year old black rescue terrier, currently seeking a forever home from Newport Animal Centre.
Jayne Bryant AM commented: “I’m really pleased that the Cabinet Secretary has listened to concerns raised by people across the county. Following some of the hot weather we had this summer it would have been fatal for any dogs left in cars. Owners who do this often do it without thinking. Awareness raising measures are extremely important.”
Public affairs manager Paul Smith added: “This is great news for dogs, and a campaign success for the RSPCA that we think will have a big impact on canine welfare, and public understanding of a serious, potential animal welfare problem.
“Sadly, we and the Police are inundated each year with calls about dogs left alone in hot vehicles and in an RSPCA poll a shocking 29 percent of dog owners still think that it is safe to leave a dog in a car on a warm day .
“The dangers can be fatal and it is our simple message that ‘not long is too long’ for a dog in a hot car.
“When a colleague spent just over 26 minutes in a stationary car in June, temperatures sky-rocketed from 23.3°C to more than 57°C degrees; this can cause heatstroke, many other complications, or even death in dogs.
“It’s fantastic that the Welsh Government are eager to take action on this matter, support this campaign, and spread the message to a big audience of motorists, and passengers, that dogs can die in hot cars. We’re also very grateful to Jane Bryant AM for supporting this idea, and ensuring those travelling by car in Newport, South Wales and beyond see this potentially life-saving message for dogs.”