The UK may be experiencing its hottest summer in years, yet drivers still appear to be leaving their dogs trapped in stifling hot cars.
Just days after a dog was rescued from a boiling hot car at Cheshire Oaks, the results of a three-day social experiment has revealed that the majority of UK drivers generally fail to intervene after spotting a dog left alone in a hot car.
Armed with a fake dog and realistic sound effects, camera crews from Confused.com set up camp in UK car parks and busy streets to record the reactions of passers-by who assumed a real dog had been left alone in a car in 28 degree heat.
Yet despite hearing cries from the distressed animal, an 'overwhelming majority' of people failed to do anything to help the pooch, with just four out of hundreds stopping to take action.
Further research by the savings website found that those who didn't stop to help didn't take any action as they weren't aware of the risks.
And 22% said they didn't help because they didn't think the dog was at risk, despite national warnings that the temperature inside of a car can reach up to 43C in just half an hour on a very hot day.
The research also found that 44% of dog owners have left their pet unattended in a car, with a shocking 70% doing so on a hot day for eight minutes on average - enough time for temperatures to increase.
It's currently not illegal to leave a dog in a car although it is an offence to abuse or mistreat an animal in your care.
But many believe that stronger punishments or better guidance on what to do in these circumstances will result in fewer dogs being left alone in the car with their life and health at risk.
Motorists, passengers and the public in general are being urged to be especially vigilant during the summer months and on the lookout for dogs that could have been left in a car on a warm day by careless owners.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “ The summer is here and everyone is doing what they can to prevent themselves from over heating, but it seems many dog-owners aren’t taking the same precautions for their pets.
"Even if the temperature doesn’t feel particularly warm outside, the inside of the car can get very hot, very quickly!
"Whether or not they are showing signs of overheating, we strongly urge passers-by to look for the owners, or even call 999 and save the pooch’s life.”
To find out what you're legally allowed to do if you see a dog trapped in a hot car, click here