THE RSPCA is urging pet owners to make plans for their pet’s care before going away on Christmas holidays.
WA chief inspector Amanda Swift said abandonments were common at this time of year.
“Going away and leaving your pet at home alone without proper care is dangerous – so much can go wrong that it’s really not worth the risk,” she said.
“It baffles me that this is still a common occurrence when there are so many options available for pet owners these days.
“If you don’t want to put your pet in kennels, find a pet sitter who will stay at your house while you’re away.”
Abandoning an animal is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act, which carries a maximum penalty of a $50,000 fine or five years in prison.
RSPCA’s tips for taking pets with you on holiday
– Ensure the microchip data is up to date: if your pet gets lost while you’re away, they can be easily identified and quickly reunited with you.
– Check medications and equipment: it’s important to pack everything your pet needs while they’re away such as a collar showing their council registration tag, required medication, bedding, food and treats, and bowls to put food and water in.
– Look up vet services where you are going: research the closest vet clinic to where you’ll be staying before you leave in case of emergencies.
– Proper pet restraints: animals should be appropriately restrained inside the vehicle. They should not be tethered on the back of utes nor travel unrestrained in any part of the vehicle. There are a variety of dog seat belts and cat carry cases on the market to allow pet owners to safely transport their pet.
– Dogs in hot cars: if you stop somewhere for a break, do not leave your pet in the car. It can take just six minutes for a dog to overheat and die in a hot car, even with windows down or parked in the shade. Take your pet with you and offer them a drink and something to eat and stop for regular toilet breaks.
– Give your pet some time to have a sniff around and get used to their new surroundings. Familiar smells from home such as blankets and toys can help them settle more quickly. – Offer food treats to help them relax and put their bed somewhere out of the way so they can retreat if they feel overwhelmed.