In the last week RSPCA NSW has received seven complaints about dogs found in hot cars. RSPCA NSW is once again reminding pet owners not to leave any animal unattended in vehicles, especially as the weather gets warmer.
“Many people are not aware that if you leave your dog unattended in the car, even with windows down and in the shade, there’s still a high risk of heat stroke and potentially suffering a worse fate,” said RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector David OShannessy. “Its forecast to be a sizzling summer so we hope that people can get the message before it gets hotter and more dogs suffer or die.”
It only takes six minutes for an animal to die from heat stroke. Cars parked in the sun can reach temperatures in excess of 80° Celsius, and can remain dangerously hot even if the windows are open. A dog cannot sweat in these conditions and panting increases the heat in the car.
“Cars left stationary in the sun become ovens. Ute trays also become extremely hot, so dogs can suffer a similar fate,” said Chief Inspector OShannessy. “If a dog is found suffering as a result of being left in a car, the maximum penalty is $5,500 and six-month in prison and if a dog dies from being left in a car, the owner can receive a $22,000 fine and a two-year prison sentence.”
As appealing as it is to take the family pet on outings, if there’s no choice but to leave the pet in the car then choose the better option of leaving them at home with shade and plenty of water.
Members of the public are urged to contact local police or RSPCA NSW on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589) if they see a stressed animal left in a car.