Weather warning as heatwave hits region

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Evening bathers at New Brighton on the Wirral © Tony McDonough/Twitter

Evening bathers at New Brighton on the Wirral © Tony McDonough/Twitter

As Merseyside basked in sizzling Mediterranean weather this week, a heatwave warning was issued for the North West, while the RSPCA is preparing for ‘Black Saturday’.

Soaring temperatures approaching 30C across the region and the rest of the UK may be a welcome change after recent disappointing summers, but for some the hot weather is a cause for concern.

The Met Office delivered a level three warning for healthcare services in the North West to assist those in high-risk groups, such as the elderly and young children.

Britain is said to be experiencing its first prolonged heatwave since 2006. Although temperatures are expected to fall to 24C this weekend, they are set to rise again next week.

National animal rescue charity, the RSPCA, is urging the public to assist them to help tackle the issue of pets or wildlife suffering in the extreme heat.

A spokesman for the RSPCA said: “We’re bracing ourselves for ‘Black Saturday’ – the busiest day of the year for our emergency helpline.

“On Saturday 20 July, we expect to receive a call for help for an animal at least every eight seconds. We’re already receiving a record number of calls – a 65 per cent increase since January 2012 – and hundreds more animals being abandoned over the summer period.

Dogs enjoy the sun too but not if they are trapped in hot cars. Pic © Josh Parry/Instagram

Dogs enjoy the sun too but not if they are trapped in hot cars. Pic © Josh Parry/Instagram

RSPCA Chief Officer of the Inspectorate Kevin Degenhard said: “We are asking people who see an animal in need over the weekend and through the summer to think whether they are able to help the animal themselves before calling the helpline.”

The RSPCA added: “For animals trapped in hot cars call 999. We don’t have any legal powers to break into cars, so would need police there anyway.

“Look at our website for our advice on what to do if you see an animal in need of help. For stray animals, please contact your local authority… for injured wildlife, if it is safe and practical, please do take them to a vet.”

If your concern is urgent, you can phone the RSPCA on 0300 123 4999, though callers are advised to remain patient.

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