RSPCA urges dog owners to do the right thing after two dogs left in car in Kardinya


Willetton resident Rach Cook took this picture of a dog left in a car on October 31.
Willetton resident Rach Cook took this picture of a dog left in a car on October 31.

DOG owners have been urged to do right by their pets this summer and leave them at home where they are cool, safe and comfortable.

RSPCA WA received 320 reports of dogs being left in parked cars between October 2016 and March 2017, with one pet dying after being left in a vehicle on Australia Day.

The animal group said 83 reports had already been made since October.

RSPCA WA chief inspector Amanda Swift said she was concerned by the figures collected over the last six weeks, adding she did not know why the message was not sinking in.

“Why people insist on taking their dogs with them when they’re going out, even just to the shops, I just can’t understand,” she said.

“Popping to the shops for five minutes is not a reality.”

“Even a few minutes is too long.”The temperature inside a car can rise to more than double what it is outside, with dogs vulnerable to heatstroke in as little as six minutes.

Ms Swift said people were still “chancing it”, not realising they were causing their dog harm.

“The effects of heatstroke can be long-lasting, causing serious long-term health problems such as organ damage,” she said.

“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.

“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 could.”

Willetton resident Rach Cook said she was shocked to see two dogs – a poodle and a malamute with a heavy coat – left in a car at Kardinya Shopping Centre on a warm day on October 31.

She said both were panting and in a bad way.

“I was totally shocked and could not believe that someone could be so stupid,” she said.

She said she made enquiries with security and authorities, with the owners eventually returning.

“They seemed more annoyed that they were being told they had done something bad than worried about the animals,” she said.

“I had to ask them to get the dogs some water.

“(There was) no response so I got my water bottle from my trolley.

“The woman then said she had water and poured water into her hand for them.

“They were thirsty.”

Ms Cook informed the RSPCA and police the dogs were out of the car after she left the shopping centre.

People who leave their dog in a car on a hot day can be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act and face a penalty up to $50,000 or five years in prison and a ban on animal ownership.

If you see a dog locked in a car on a hot day, you should report it immediately to the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589).

If you’re at a shopping centre, ask the centre management to page the owner of the vehicle using their registration number.

If possible, keep an eye on the dog until help arrives or the owner returns – but be careful not to agitate it as this could cause further distress.

You can try calling the local Ranger or Police (131 444) for help, as they may be able to get there more quickly, however they are not obliged to respond to these calls so always call the RSPCA in the first instance.

Members of the public who break into a vehicle to rescue a trapped dog do so at their own risk.

Pet owners should do right by their dogs and leave them at home where they are safe and comfortable.

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