Don't let your pets down this summer

"History does not repeat itself. Mankind does," said Voltaire. How true it is and irresponsible animal owners never seem to learn. Every year we read the same story of pets being left in cars in hot weather. Owners get fined but that does not help the poor animals who had suffered for hours in an oven which the humans call a car. Of course there was no intentional cruelty just accidental. "I was only going to be a few minutes," is the phrase I have heard so often. But it was not a few minutes because the owner met a friend whom he or she had not seen for ages, the credit card machine at the shop was out of order, the shop was out of stock but would order one but needed to take details and take a deposit. The few minutes have turned into half an hour and the pet is suffering.

The fact that the well-intentioned owner had kindly parked the car in the shade no longer applied, the revolving of the earth means that what was shade is now full sunshine. I admired the owner of a block of shops with a car park who had placed a sign saying 'If you leave your pet in this car park in sunshine I will break your car window, take your pet and call the police.' Make a point of not taking your pet in your car in hot weather, air con or no air con. If you must take the pet because the vet is some way off or you need him to be kennelled, then do the journey in the early morning and go straight there. Leave the windows slightly open. Take a bowl and a bottle of tap water kept away from the heat; animals do not like warm water, but of course there is always the exception. Waters differ in animals' taste so it is better to take the water to which they are accustomed.

Do remember this in the coming months. We humans can control our activity, we can go to the fridge to get a drink or move out of the sun when we choose. Our pets rely on us. Do not let them down.