Coffs pet owners irk RSPCA

No brainer: People should leave dogs at home if they intend to leave them unattended in their car.
No brainer: People should leave dogs at home if they intend to leave them unattended in their car.

ANIMAL cruelty has gone too far with recent reports of dogs locked in hot cars upsetting and disgusting local residents and RSPCA workers.

Police and the RSPCA on the Coffs Coast have lately received numerous reports of dogs left to swelter in the heat of a car without any windows left open.

RSPCA North Coast regional inspector Andrew Kelly says the rise in these incidents is troubling and that action needs to be taken.

“In numerous cases over the last three months, dogs have had to be treated by veterinarians for heat stress and dehydration,” Mr Kelly said.

“I recently encountered one dog in a locked car which would have only had minutes to live if we had not saved him.”

RSPCA inspectors and the NSW Police have the authority to remove stressed animals from cars on welfare grounds under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.

In most cases the car is opened by the NRMA, but in extreme cases where the animal requires immediate attention, the RSPCA or police will smash a window to remove the animal.

The dangers of leaving a dog in an unattended car are high and the public needs to be made aware of the potentially devastating impact on pets.

“Cars left stationary in the sun become like ovens and dogs can develop heat stroke and suffer a cruel death in only six minutes,” Mr Kelly said.

“Dogs are not able to sweat to cool themselves down. A dog panting in a car will raise the temperature even more quickly.”

However, this doesn’t seem to be deterring some locals from doing the right thing and leaving their pets in the cool at home.

“Leaving the window down or parking in the shade does little to stop the temperature rising in the car,” he said.

“My best advice to people is to leave their dogs at home if they intend to leave their dog unattended in their car.”

Animal cruelty complaints can be lodged by calling 1300CRUELTY.

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