AN ANIMAL charity has warned about the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars as temperatures continue to rise in Basingstoke.

The RSPCA is reminding people that if they see a pet in distress in a hot vehicle then they should call 999.

A spokesman for the charity said: "Many people still believe that it's ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they're parked in the shade, but the truth is, it's still a very dangerous situation for the dog.

"A car can become as hot as an oven very quickly, even when it doesn't feel that warm. When it's 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour."

With temperatures pushing up to around 33 degrees celsius across Basingstoke in the last few days, the weather can be dangerous for dogs, particularly if they are left in sweltering conditions.

Every summer, there are multiple cases of dogs being left in hot cars, which leads to them suffering from severe heatstroke or even death.

In 2018, the RSPCA was called out to 379 reports of dogs left in hot cars in Hampshire.

This figure was significantly higher than neighbouring counties Berkshire (111) and Surrey (264).

The RSPCA has advised that if the animal is displaying any sign of heatstroke - such as panting heavily, drooling excessively, is lethargic or uncoordinated, or collapsed and vomiting - call 999 immediately.

If the dog is not displaying signs of heatstroke, establish how long they have been in the car and make a note of the registration, the charity said.

You can call the RSPCA's 24-hour emergency cruelty line on 0300 1234 999 for advice but, if a dog is in danger, dialling 999 should always be the first step.