A recent experiment showed hundreds of people ignoring the cries of a distressed 'dog' left alone in a car on a hot day.The social experiment, carried out by British car comparison website Confused.comand the RSPCA took place over 3 days last month (July 2017). A fake dog, nicknamed Annie, was left alone in a car on busy streets and car parks, with sound effects mimicking the sounds of a dog in distress.
However, despite the panicked 'cries' and the fact that temperatures soared to over 28 degrees Celsius (82 Fahrenheit), only 4 out of hundreds of possible rescuers tried to help Annie.The majority of the people who passed the car either only glanced at Annie, or ignored her completely. Those who went to her aid tried many ways to save her, such as attempting to open the door, pull down the slightly open widow, and even call the RSPCA or the police.
A camera crew filming the experiment intervened when the good samaritains tried to call the authorities, but still praised their efforts.As temperatures inside cars can rise to over 40 degrees (104 Fahrenheit) when it's only 22 degrees (71 Fahrenheit) outside, being trapped in a car - even with the window open - is incredibly dangerous and even fatal for dogs, as RSPCA dog welfare expert Lisa Richards said in a press release:
Dogs are especially vulnerable to heatstroke because they cool off by panting and when their body temperature is raised to dangerous levels, even for a short time, they can suffer nerve, heart, liver and brain damage or even death.
Confused.com and the RSPCA also surveyed members of the public and, unfortunately, their findings supported the evidence found by the film crew.
Out of the people they surveyed, 76% of those who had seen a dog trapped in a car did nothing to intervene, despite many (22%) thinking that those who do leave their canines unattended should be punished. In addition, a shocking 42% of dog owners admitted to leaving their pet alone in a car, with a quarter of these admitting to doing so on a warm or hot day.If you see a dog alone in a vehicle, the RSPCA recommends calling the police to report the incident. Your help could mean the difference between life and death for a neglected pooch! And of course, you should never leave your dog unattended in a car if you are a dog owner yourself.
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