ANIMAL charity chiefs are urging people to make sure animals are kept safe in scorching temperatures – after a massive rise in calls in Burton following the recent spell of hot weather.
RSPCA chiefs revealed that pets, wildlife and farm animals are all falling victim to the heatwave and, as a result, the charity has been "inundated" with calls to its cruelty line.
Now, bosses are reminding people that all animals can suffer during hot weather.
"Hot weather can cause problems for all animals," said RSPCA pet welfare expert Jane Tyson.
"Every summer we urge people to take extra precautions during the heat but sadly our inspectors on the ground are still being faced with distressing situations that could have been avoided.
"We have already had calls about animals such as rabbits dying in their cages due to the heat and lack of access to water.
"While we hope the message is starting to get through to people that hot cars can be death traps for dogs, it is really important to remember that other animals may be suffering too."
Calls included reports of a rabbit left outside without shade or water, a cage of hamsters left in a petshop window in direct sunlight and around 30 chicks kept in a cage with no access to shade.
The charity has issued some "top tips" to make sure all animals are safe from the heat.
These include never leaving an animal in a car in warm weather, not letting animals get sunburned and making sure all pets have access to shade and a constant supply of fresh drinking water.
More information on how to keep pets safe in the sun is available online at www.rspca.org.uk