Dogs Trust

The animal welfare charity used a life-sized ice sculpture to illustrate how dangerous it can be to leave dogs alone in hot cars

A still from the Dogs Trust YouTube video
A still from the Dogs Trust YouTube video

What is it?

Dogs Trust has made a YouTube video to raise awareness of how dangerous it is to leave dogs in hot cars. The time-lapse film, called Hot Cars Kill Dogs, features a life-sized ice sculpture of a dog in the front seat of a car that melts away over the course of the video until only its collar is left. There is no speech in the video, but the message "Dogs die in hot cars. It can take as little as 20 minutes" and the Dogs Trust logo flash up at the end.

Why now?

According to research carried out by the charity, more than a quarter of UK dog owners admit to having left their dogs alone in parked cars. Those surveyed were far more likely to leave their dogs alone in a car for a few minutes (28 per cent) than they were their phones (10 per cent). AA call-outs to rescue dogs locked in parked cars have increased by 50 per cent in the past six years.

What else?

Dogs Trust used the #hotcarskilldogs hashtag to promote the video on Twitter, and posted some of the figures from its research. It also created a behind the scenes film about the making of the video.

How has it performed so far?

Since the video was launched on 22 May, it has been viewed more than 23,000 times on YouTube.

What the charity says

"Every year we hear the inevitable and highly distressing media reports that another dog has been subjected to the horrific ordeal of being left to die in a hot car," says Clarissa Baldwin, chief executive of Dogs Trust. "The saddest thing is that these dogs are often much-loved family pets, but the owners simply do not appreciate how quickly a dog can die in a hot car, where temperatures can reach the same as an oven."

Third Sector verdict

Although very simple, the video is successful in getting the charity’s message across. The visual image of the melting dog is so striking  that the film does not need any words. This is refreshing when many other charity videos bombard the viewer with information. However, it might have been useful to make the video and additional information for owners more prominent on the Dogs Trust website.

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