Pets in cars still a prob­lem

Southern Telegraph - - News - David Sal­vaire

The RSPCA is re­mind­ing dog own­ers that leav­ing their pets in a locked car on hot days can cause per­ma­nent dam­age or even death, amid a surge in in­ci­dents across Rock­ing­ham and Kwinana.

Since Oc­to­ber, there have been eight re­ports of dogs left in cars in the City of Rock­ing­ham, while the City of Kwinana has had two re­ports.

In the same pe­riod, there have been 83 re­ports of dogs left in parked cars across WA.

A RSPCA spokes­woman said the South Metropoli­tan in­spec­tor was work­ing hard to en­sure all re­ports were fol­lowed up.

“We’ve heard in those ar­eas that most dogs in hot cars re­ports come from shop­ping cen­tres carparks,” she said.

“We’re also hear­ing that in Rock­ing­ham, Kwinana and Man­durah it’s mostly el­derly peo­ple who are leav­ing their dogs locked in a car on a hot day.

“Our in­spec­tor has a great re­la­tion­ship with lo­cal rangers and lo­cal po­lice, who help out by re­spond­ing to re­ports when she is un­able to get there quickly.”

On Aus­tralia Day this year, a dog died af­ter be­ing left in a car at Coogee Beach.

RSPCA WA Chief In­spec­tor Amanda Swift said she was “highly con­cerned” by the num­ber of re­ports that the organisation had re­ceived.

“I can­not be­lieve that the mes­sage still isn’t sink­ing in,” 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 as that could.”

Peo­ple who leave their dog in a car on a hot day can be pros­e­cuted un­der the An­i­mal Wel­fare Act and face a max­i­mum penalty of $50,000 or five years im­pris­on­ment.

Any­one that sees a dog locked in a car dur­ing hot weather is urged to re­port the in­ci­dent to the RSPCA Cru­elty Hot­line on 1300 CRU­ELTY or 1300 278 3589.

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