As temperatures soared above 30C this week, the RSPCA received 191 calls over just five days from those concerned about animals in the heat.
Of those calls, they received one about a kitten who was taken on a 200-mile round trip to Bournemouth beach on the hottest day of the year.
Common calls to the RSPCA’s emergency line during a heatwave concern dogs in hot cars – although Thursday (25 June) saw a very unusual call come in with concerns about a kitten in a tent at a popular tourist hotspot.
RSPCA Inspector Graham Hammond was called to a packed Bournemouth beach on the hottest day of the year after concerns had been raised about a family with a kitten who was in a tent on the beach in the afternoon sun.
The call was just one of 72 incidents the charity was made aware of from those concerned about animals in the heat.
Inspector Hammond said: “I’ve been an inspector for quite some time, and have seen all sorts of things, but when I saw this kitten on the beach, I thought I’d seen it all now.
“The beach was packed, and it’d been really difficult even finding parking and getting through the crowns. When I asked the family – who’d travelled around 100 miles from their home that morning to come to Bournemouth for a day – why they’d brought the kitten with them, they told me the kids didn’t want to leave him.
“I also spoke with three other people in the space of just 15 minutes, who were walking their dogs on the promenade in the blistering heat. I’d plead with people not to go out and about with their dogs in this hot weather and, instead, to keep them cool at home and in the garden. It’s best to take dogs for walks and plan any rides on horses early in the morning and late in the evening – avoiding the hottest parts of the day – and to ensure they have constant access to shade, cool areas of the house and lots of fresh water.”
On the same day, a dog with sunburnt ears and painful burns to her pads was taken into the care of the RSPCA in Kent after she sustained the wounds during this week’s heatwave.
RSPCA Inspector Rosie Russon discovered the dog, Belle, had burns to her pads which had blistered and popped – which was making it very painful for her to take any steps.
She was taken to a nearby vet where she was given pain relief and treatment for her burns to her pads before being transferred to an RSPCA rescue centre where she’ll receive ongoing care for her injuries.
The RSPCA leads a coalition of charities in the Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign and is also urging pet owners never to leave their dogs in parked cars in warm weather.
For more information, visit the RSPCA website for summer seasonal advice. If you’re concerned your pet may have heatstroke contact your vet as soon as possible.