Brave vet shares video of herself in scorching hot car in order to spread an important message
All year round, dog owners are warned of the dangers of leaving their pets locked in their vehicles - but the danger of doing so is especially increased during the summer months. In order to draw attention to this, Zephanie Woodward, a vet for Shepherds Veterinary Hospital in Wales, locked herself in a painfully hot car to show what the experience is really like.
"I thought I would come and have a little sit in my car and decide how it must feel for the dogs being left in the car and see how long I can cope with it," she said at the beginning of the video, at which point her digital thermometer read 31 degrees (87.8 F).
And within minutes, she began sweating profusely.
After just seven minutes in the car (a period of time which many pet owners may believe is acceptable to leave their animal alone for), Woodward says: "I feel like I've got a little bit of a sweat on, I'm certainly glad I'm not a dog wearing a fur coat."
At the 12 minute mark - the amount of time it may take to quickly grab something from the store, or have a short conversation with a friend - the temperature hits 40C (104F) inside the car. It's not that hot outside, of course, but the metal car acts as a heat trap when there's no air circulation.
"I am sweating now. If I was a dog I would be panting away, and therefore losing water. I'd be needing a drink," she said. "It's approaching the point where I am definitely uncomfortable."
Still, she sticks it out for half an hour, by which point the internal temperature of the car has reached an incredible 46C (114F).
"I have had enough," she says after 30 minutes. "I'm getting out of here. I'm pretty convinced if I was a dog you would probably come in to find me collapsed at the bottom of your car. So please, don't forget. Dog's die in hot cars."
Speaking about her experience later on, Woodward explained:
"The reason I decided to do it was to raise awareness of how hot a car can get. I was pretty surprised by the temperature that was reached and so quickly.
"I came out covered in sweat and then you realise that dogs can't sweat and maybe I should have been wearing a fur coat to have a real understanding of how a dog would feel.
"I just jumped in my car parked in it Hospital car park, as if I'd pop to the shop and left the dog whilst I grab a couple of bits."
When asked if she had treated any animals who had been left in hot cars recently, the vet replied, "Luckily this year we haven't yet. What we see more of is heat stroke after walks in the sun. The video was more of about awareness and prevention."
If you ever see a dog - or any other animal - trapped in a hot car, call law enforcement immediately. As Zephanie Woodward's video shows, there is a real danger of them being stuck in such a hot, confined space for so long, and even those who survive the ordeal will still endure needless suffering.