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PSNI: Don't smash windows if you spot dog in distress

Police have warned that it is illegal to break a car's window in order to free a dog inside during the hot weather.

It comes after rumours spread on social media suggesting people could smash car windows if they spotted a wheezing dog in a car with no windows open.

Police instead have said that the emergency 999 number should be called, or the 101 number if an animal is spotted in distress.

A police spokeswoman said: "The animal welfare officer in local councils should be the first point of contact if a member of the public observes an animal locked in a vehicle in hot weather. Police may be able to assist the animal welfare officer or pass on information.

"Council animal welfare officers are responsible for enforcement of the Welfare of Animals (NI) Order 2011, as it applies to non-farmed animals. This applies to domestic pets such as dogs, cats, horses or donkeys etc..."

She continued: "PSNI can act as per the Welfare of Animals Act, but unless it is fighting offences such as badger baiting/dog fighting, the council animal welfare officers are the first point of contact and the PSNI will offer some assistance if required.

"If you do see an animal in distress please call police on 101 or 999 as you see fit."

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