Hackney Police Team Receives PETA Award After Smashing Car Window To Save Dying Dog

For Immediate Release:

22 July 2014


Ben Williamson +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]

Brave Act in the Nick of Time Saves Life and Earns Brownswood Safer Neighbourhoods Team ‘Hero to Animals’ Honour

London – For saving the life of a dog who was locked inside a car on the hottest day of the year so far, the Brownswood Safer Neighbourhoods Team in Hackney has just received PETA’s Hero to Animals Award. A photo of the 18 July rescue was tweeted by Sgt Richard Berns.

“Dogs suffering from heatstroke lose control of their muscles, and their vital organs begin to shut down – a painful and terrifying ordeal”, says PETA Associate Director Mimi Bekhechi. “The rule is simple: when the weather gets warm, leave the dogs at home. Hackney is fortunate to have local heroes, such as Sergeant Berns and his colleagues, who take emergency action in order to protect all residents, whether on two legs or four.”

Unlike humans, dogs cool themselves only by panting and sweating through their paw pads, and they can die if their body temperature exceeds 41 degrees. They can develop a loss of muscle control, and the kidneys can cease to function. The brain can also become irreversibly damaged, and the heart can stop. On a 26-degree day, the inside of a vehicle parked in the sun can reach 70 degrees in just minutes.

PETA warns that if you see a dog in a car and in distress, take down the car’s colour, model, make and registration number, try to locate the owner if possible and call local animal authorities or police. Have someone keep an eye on the dog. If police are unresponsive or too slow and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back your assessment, take steps to remove the suffering animal and then wait for authorities to arrive. A dog showing any symptoms of heatstroke – such as restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy or lack of coordination – should be taken into the shade immediately. Stabilise the dog’s temperature by providing water, applying a cold towel to the animal’s head and chest or immersing the dog in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then the animal should be transported to a veterinarian.

For more information, please visit PETA.org.uk.