A DOG show was slammed for going ahead outside in the 35C heatwave today – despite health warnings.
Owners and their animals were seen cowering under marquees without any air conditioning at the Bournemouth Championship Dog Show in Dorset, earlier.
Temperatures were expected to reach 29C in Bournemouth today as it faced an amber warning for extreme heat.
Many shows in Dorset cancelled the dog elements of their events after the Met Office issued the warning.
But the Bournemouth Canine Association decided to go ahead, with many slamming the "stupid" and "selfish" decision.
One woman wrote on Twitter: "The RSPCA are advising dog shows are cancelled. Why are you taking the risk?"
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Another said: "There is now an amber warning by the Met Office of extreme heat of 36 degrees hopefully it won’t be so hot.
"Years ago I nearly lost my champion dog at a Welsh KC Championship Show from heat exhaustion, never again would I take a dog out in extreme heat for a piece of cardboard."
A third added: "Dogs can still suffer from heatstroke even in the shade, if the shade is in the form of marquees there will be no breeze in them.
"It's up to the individual if they take their dog but putting your dog at risk for your own vanity and ego of possibly winning a showing class is just pure stupidity and selfishness.
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"The responsible thing would be to postpone the event but £££s as always take precedence. Shameful!"
Someone else said: "So how are the dogs supposed to get there?
"Travelling anywhere in a vehicle is unbearable even for humans at the moment, and dangerously so for dogs.
"Anyone irresponsible enough to take their dog there in this weather should be ashamed of themselves. Saying they 'know their dogs' doesn’t prove they truly care for their welfare. Those people should be made to sit in their cars wearing fur coats and hats!"
Organisers of the event said they had a "lovely cooling breeze and plenty of shaded areas" as well as providing cool water baths for dogs to paddle in.
And dog owners planning to attend were quick to defend the decision, saying they are prepared to keep their pups cool and have more common sense than regular pet owners.
We’re concerned to hear of dog shows taking place during the heatwave and would urge organisers to prioritise the welfare of dogs and consider rearranging or cancelling.
One hit back: "I will ensure my girlie is kept cool with a cool coat, cool mat and frozen water bottles in her crate, I will also make sure she has plenty available to drink.
"Most people who show have far more common sense that your regular pet owner in the heat so please don't slate us for doing something that we and our dogs enjoy."
Another wrote: "The dogs are monitored very carefully and are just fine. People know how to keep their dogs cool.
"I've never known a dog get heat stroke at a dog show. Heat stroke normally happens when you exercise the dogs in the heat, at dogs shows they are mostly chilling out in their crates."
Meanwhile, the RSPCA voiced its concern over shows taking place and urged organisers to consider rearranging or cancelling.
Esme Wheeler, dog welfare expert at the RSPCA, said: "We’re concerned to hear of dog shows taking place during the heatwave and would urge organisers to prioritise the welfare of dogs and consider rearranging or cancelling.
'TAKE IT SERIOUSLY'
"The hot weather has gone from glorious to extreme, and we can’t stress enough how vital it is that pet owners take the situation seriously.
"That means limiting or skipping walks, only taking very essential car journeys, leaving water available at all times, and preparing damp, cold towels and mats, and frozen treats.
"Don’t be that person who is dragging their panting dog along the pavement or plodding around a show. Please leave them at home in the cool where they’ll be safe.
"Knowing how to try and prevent heatstroke, and also how to spot the signs of heatstroke in pets could be a matter of life and death, so we’re urging anyone with a pet – whether it’s a dog or cat, a rabbit or guinea pig, and even chickens, horses and exotic animals – to put aside some time today to read up and make plans."
Ellingham Show announced earlier this week they were asking people not to bring their dogs to the event and had removed all dog shows from their schedule following advice from the RSPCA.
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Christchurch Carnival also cancelled their dog show for tomorrow due to similar concerns.
The Bournemouth Championship Dog Show has been approached for comment.
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