22 January 2014

RSPCA WA CEO David van Ooran yesterday sweated it out in 50-plus degree temperatures to show the public why you shouldn't leave your dog in a hot car.

In an experiment conducted by the RSPCA, a silver-coloured car was left with the air conditioning running for 10 minutes and reached a temperature of 35 degrees.

The air conditioning was then turned off and RSPCA WA's CEO sat in the car for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, the temperature inside the car reached a scorching 53.5 degrees.

"RSPCA decided to conduct this experiment to show the devastating effects of leaving a dog in a hot car. RSPCA Inspectors are receiving far too many calls about dogs being left in hot cars – 190 calls so far and we are only half way through summer," RSPCA WA CEO David van Ooran said.

People need to understand that these temperatures can be fatal if you lock a dog in a hot car. If you are going out; please leave your dog at home in the shade with plenty of cool water.

"At the end of the experiment, I was covered in sweat and felt pretty ordinary and I wasn't wearing a fur coat, so please do not leave your dog in a hot car, not even for a short period of time as it can be fatal" Mr van Ooran said.

Pet owners can be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act for leaving a dog in a hot car with fines of up to $50,000 and five years' imprisonment.

RSPCA Inspectors and Police are legally authorised to break into vehicles if necessary to rescue an animal.

The RSPCA is urging people to use their common sense when it comes to animals this summer.

If it is a hot day, don't walk your dog in the heat of the day – instead walk them at dawn or dusk when it's cooler. Remember pads on their paws can burn easily. If the pavement is too hot for your bare feet, then it is too hot for your dog.