20 February 2023

RSPCA WA is fed up with ‘sickening and unnecessary’ animal suffering this summer, as cruelty reports climb.

Since 1 December, the animal welfare organisation has fielded more than 1000 reports of animals being abandoned, shut inside hot cars, and left to suffer without adequate food, water, or shelter.

Meanwhile, calls about all forms of cruelty and neglect are up nearly eight per cent, compared to the same period in 2021-22.

Last summer, two dogs tragically died after being tied up without shade or water in Perth backyards. And RSPCA WA Inspector Manager Kylie Green said more deaths were inevitable unless pet owners woke up to risks.

‘Heat distress causes immense pain and is a terrible way for an animal to die,’ she said.

‘So much of the suffering we’ve seen so far this summer has been completely unnecessary, and, at times, frankly sickening.

‘Walking into a backyard and finding a deceased dog is every inspector’s worst nightmare. And while we can hold these owners to account through prosecution, it’s a heartbreaking reality that we can’t get to every animal in time.

‘RSPCA WA is calling on owners to please step up and take those extra measures to make sure pets are protected from the heat.

‘If you wouldn’t stand outside with bare feet for hours without shade or water, don’t force your pet to.’

Two-year-old Staffy Cherry is a survivor of summer neglect. She was found starving, dehydrated and unable to stand, after being abandoned by her former owner. It was 39C on the day she was rescued.

Cherry required emergency vet treatment to save her life but has since made a full recovery and been rehomed. Her former owner was convicted of animal cruelty.

Cherry’s story highlights the importance of RSPCA WA’s current fundraising appeal to help keep animals safe in summer. To donate, visit rspcawa.org.au/cherry

RSPCA WA’s Summer Safety Checklist:

  • Never leave your pet alone in your car or ute
  • Make sure your pets have access to plenty of shade at all times during the day
  • Provide animals clean, cool water. Provide extra bowls/buckets in case one gets knocked over
  • If you have no alternative but to tether your dog, use a proper device that won’t tangle and make sure your dog has adequate shelter and water at all times
  • Keep your littlest pets in the shade or indoors