15 May 2023

A 32-year-old man, who left his dog shut inside a hot car in East Victoria Park in December last year, has been fined $3000.\

He was found guilty in Perth Magistrates Court on Friday. In addition to the fine, the offender, who lives in Southern River, was banned from having contact with pets for two years and was ordered to pay court and care costs of $2246.16.

RSPCA WA responded to a report about the dog—a fox terrier-cross named Tipsy– at around 10am on 18 December. The inspector found her inside a parked vehicle with no access to water.

The temperature was around 29C at the time. The inspector witnessed Tipsy panting excessively, becoming restless, and showing other signs of stress. She made the decision to seize Tipsy due to suspected offences under the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

Tipsy was transported to an emergency vet, where she was found to be dehydrated and showing signs of heat stress. She required overnight monitoring and IV therapy to treat dehydration. Tipsy has since made a full recovery in RSPCA WA’s care.

RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said Tipsy was lucky to be alive.

‘The maximum temperature on the day we seized Tipsy reached over 33C,’ she said.

‘In those conditions, a dog can die in just six minutes. I’m so grateful we were alerted to Tipsy in time.

‘Last summer, RSPCA WA received over 200 calls about dogs in hot cars.

‘It’s heart-wrenching that–despite repeated warnings–people continue to put their pets at risk.

‘If you love your dog, leave them at home with plenty of shade and water. It's better to leave them at home for a short time, than to risk losing them forever.’

The offender was sentenced under sections 19(1), 19(3)(b)(ii) and 19(3)(d) of the Animal Welfare Act 2002.

The court found his dog was confined in a manner likely to cause harm and was not provided with sufficient water.

If you see a distressed dog in a hot car, report it immediately to the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline on 1300 278 358 (1300 CRUELTY), or call WA Police on 131 444.