Six dogs have been rescued from the fire that gutted the Liverpool Echo Arena multi-storey car park on Sunday 31 December. The dogs had been left in cars while their owners were at the venue; as about 1,400 vehicles were destroyed, with only a few on the upmost floors being spared, it is remarkable that none of the dogs was killed or seriously injured.
Chief fire officer Dan Stephens said, “We managed to get up on the the roof earlier today and rescue four dogs. In a vehicle on the seventh floor we managed to rescue two dogs and two dogs rescued yesterday evening before we were fully involved.”
Talking about the cause of the fire, he added, “There is nothing to suggest it was anything other than an accidental ignition.”
No other animals or people were injured, and all dogs were reportedly reunited with their owners; one of them, a woman who asked not to be named, said that after the fire broke out she didn’t think she’d ever see her dogs again. As news of the rescue broke, some questioned whether the owners should be prosecuted, prompting the RSPCA to tweet a response.
It's not illegal to leave a dog unattended in a car, but it can put their welfare at risk. We run a campaign every year to alert people to the dangers: https://t.co/iExDEu9rF3
— RSPCA (England & Wales) (@RSPCA_official) January 2, 2018
Being left unattended in a car in even moderately warm weather can easily kill a dog, as vehicles quickly become too hot for dogs to bear, causing heat strokes and death. If a dog dies as a result of heat exposure after being left unattended in a vehicle, the owner can be prosecuted.
The owners of these dogs certainly had no reason to expect their cars to become hot on the evening of 31 December, but it is a stark reminder to never leave one’s dog unattended in a car for long – even on cold evenings.
Images by Merseyside Fire and Rescue.