Do right by your dog

Melville Times - - #Snapperth - Bryce Luff

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 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.”

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 in­quiries 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.

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.

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