RSPCA NSW is warning pet owners around the state not to leave dogs – or any animal for that matter – unattended in vehicles during predicted high temperatures this weekend. It is also cautioning owners against taking animals out for exercise or other strenuous activities during temperature extremes.
“We warn people every year,” said RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector David OShannessy. “Yet as soon as the weather heats up, the calls start pouring in.”
Cars parked in the sun can reach temperatures in excess of 80° Celsius, and can remain dangerously hot even if the windows are left slightly open.
It only takes six minutes for an animal to die from heat stroke.
“Cars left stationary in the sun become ovens. Ute trays also become extremely hot, so even those working on building sites with their dogs in the back need to pay particular attention to their animals during the hot weather,” said OShannessy.
There are serious fines and possible prison sentences for these offences:
- If a dog suffers as a result of being left in a car, the maximum penalty is $5,500 and can carry a six-month prison sentence.
- If a dog dies as a result of being left in a car, the maximum penalty is $22,000 and can carry a two-year prison sentence.
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.