Do right by your dog
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.