Reports of dogs in hot cars reach 'highly concerning' levels

Palm Beach rentals
Photo Michele MOssop
Thursday 2nd July 2009
Landlords are willing to allow pets for holiday rentals as the market gets tougher generic dog golden retriever pet SPECIAL 109351
Palm Beach rentals Photo Michele MOssop Thursday 2nd July 2009 Landlords are willing to allow pets for holiday rentals as the market gets tougher generic dog golden retriever pet SPECIAL 109351

Summer hasn't even begun yet, but the RSPCA is already being inundated with reports of dogs being left in hot cars.

Since October 1 this year there have been 83 reports of dogs being left in parked cars on hot days in WA, with a total of 320 reports of dogs in hot cars between October last year and March this year.

A dog died after being left in a car at Coogee Beach on Australia Day this year - the temperature in Perth on that day reached a scorching 42 degrees.

RSPCA WA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift said even leaving a dog in a car for a few minutes was too long.

"I'm highly concerned by the number of reports we've received already this season for dogs in hot cars and I cannot believe that the message still isn't sinking in," she said.

"Why people insist on taking their dogs out with them when they're going out, even just to the shops, I just can't understand.

"Popping to the shops for five minutes is not a reality. What if the checkout queue was long or you bumped into someone you knew and had a chat?"

Ms Swift said the effects of heatstroke on a dog can be long-lasting, causing serious long-term health problems such as organ damage.

"I know most people love their pets and don't want to put them in danger, that's why they need to leave them at home on hot days, where they are safe," she said.

"Yes, your dog may miss you if you go out without them, but it won't kill them, what's worse is leaving them in a hot car as that could."

People who leave their dog in a car on a hot day can be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act and face a maximum penalty of $50,000 or five years jail.

Members of the public who see a dog left in a car on a hot day can call police on 131 444 or the RSPCA's cruelty hotline on 1300 CRUELTY or their local ranger.

This story Reports of dogs in hot cars reach 'highly concerning' levels first appeared on WA Today.