RSPCA Cymru and Jayne Bryant AM are celebrating “great news for dogs” – as Wales becomes the first nation in Great Britain to utilise Variable Message Signs on the road network to highlight the dangers of leaving canine companions locked inside warm vehicles.
The animal welfare charity and the Newport West Assembly Member teamed-up to urge the Welsh Government to include the messaging on signage across Wales during spells of warm weather.
It was confirmed that – from the beginning of July – ‘dogs die in hot cars’ messaging has started to appear on the signage, to warn motorists as to the dangers of leaving dogs in warm vehicles.
The news was confirmed in a letter to Jayne Bryant AM, after the Assembly Member raised the animal welfare issue with Ken Skates, the Minister for Economy and Transport. The message on the sign reads:
CEIR POETH YN LLADD CWN
DOGS DIE IN HOT CARS
The RSPCA urge members of the public to dial 999 if they see a dog in distress in a hot car. Being locked in a warm vehicle can have “damaging and even fatal” consequences for the animals.
Dogs cannot cool themselves down when left in warm vehicles – even with the windows open. Consequently, problems like heatstroke can materialise.
When an RSPCA staff member put the rising temperatures to the test last year, they saw the heat sky-rocket from 23.3°C to more than 57°C degrees in only 26 minutes.
Jayne Bryant AM said: “I’m really pleased that the Welsh Government has listened to concerns raised by people across the county. Recent hot weather has reminded us of the dangers of leaving dogs in cars, even for a short period of time. Owners who do this often do it without thinking. Awareness raising measures are extremely important and a simple sign can make all the difference.”
Chris O’Brien, RSPCA public affairs and media manager, added: “This is great news for dogs, and we’re delighted that our campaigning with Jayne Bryant AM has delivered this result. We’re so grateful to her for her support with this key animal welfare issue.
“Now, during spells of warm weather, countless motorists will be warned about the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car.
“This can be damaging and even fatal – and getting the message out to dog owners in this way will be so helpful in keeping many canine companions out of these very risky and dangerous situations.
“We want Wales to become a nation where dog owners never to leave their pet unattended in a parked or stationary vehicle.”