We love our furry friends at HelloCars, and we were horrified to hear of the tragic death of two dogs left in cars from avoidable heat stress. One of these was a dog left in a car with the windows down in an underground carpark.
It’s an environment that many people would believe would be “safe” to leave a dog, but the RSPCA advises that this far from the case.
“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,” RSPCA NSW Chief Inspector David O’Shannessy said.
According to the RSPCA, a dog can die from heat stroke in just six minutes if left in a hot 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 O’Shannessy.
“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.
Remember to take care of your pooch as this hot weather in Sydney continues and never, ever leave him or her unattended in your car.
RSPCA’s top tips to keep your pets safe this summer:
- extra bowls of water in case one is accidentally tipped over
- takeaway containers filled with beef/chicken stock, frozen overnight and given to outdoor animals
- ice cubes in water bowls. Be careful, as some animals will avoid drinking the water if they are concerned about the floating ice cubes. A good alternative is to freeze half a water bowl the night before and top the remainder up with cool water when putting out
- paddling pools (clams are especially popular) filled with water and under your supervision
- NEVER leave dogs in cars, even with the windows down — dogs can’t sweat; heat stress and death can occur in as little as six minutes
- always walk your dog in the early morning or late evening to avoid the heat of the day
- ensure pets have easy access to shade and water throughout the day, including extra shade areas in your backyard using shade cloths and shade umbrellas
- spray pet birds with a mist pump spray bottle (only if they like it!) or install a bird bath for supervised use
- cool a ceramic tile or oven pan in the fridge or freezer and put it out for small dogs and cats to lie on
- for pocket pets, little bags of ice wrapped in small, wet towels provide heat relief
- allow your outdoor animals to come inside the house and share the air conditioning or electric fan.