As the summer heatwave breaks temperature records, Manchester United and England defender Chris Smalling and his beloved dogs, Ruben and Miley, are starring in brand new PETA video shown below that warns of the dangers of leaving dogs in parked cars on hot days.
In the video, Smalling explains that on a 24-degree day, the temperature inside a car can reach 40 degrees in as little as 20 minutes. Because dogs can’t sweat and can cool themselves down only by panting, they can suffer from heatstroke and sustain brain damage in just minutes. As he says, “In the time it takes to pop into the supermarket for a loaf of bread, your best friend could bake to death.”
Smalling goes on to urge anyone who sees a dog or a child in a hot car to search for the vehicle’s owner, notify authorities if the right person can’t be located quickly, and stay on the scene until help arrives.
If the freed dog is showing symptoms of heatstroke – such as restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy, or lack of coordination – take the animal to a shady spot immediately. Stabilise the dog’s temperature by providing water and applying a cold towel to the head and chest or immersing the torso and limbs in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then take the animal to a veterinarian.
“Be your dogs’ biggest defender,” Smalling concludes. “Never leave them in a parked car, even for a minute. Keep them cool. You’ll be glad you did.”
Smalling is part of a growing list of athletes – including David Haye, Danny Cipriani, Jade Dernbach, Tim Howard, Darren Randolph, and Tim Shieff – who have teamed up with PETA (whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”) to promote kindness to animals.