Pets in cars still a problem

David SalvaireSound Telegraph

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.

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“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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