AN ORANGE dog lover is calling for pet owners to think twice about locking animals in cars after coming across a distressed pet in a supermarket car park on Monday night.
This is not the first time the woman, who asked not to be named, has found a dog locked in a car suffering from heat exhaustion.
“I could see the dog in the back panting, every minute counts,” she said.
After being advised by police not to touch or open the car, the woman asked the supermarket manager to make an announcement over the loudspeaker advising the dog’s owner to return to their vehicle.
Within 20 minutes the dog’s owner had returned to their car and left the car park.
“I really feel like starting a name and shame website or Facebook site,” she said.
“Sometimes I think they [dog owners] don’t think about the dog, it’s not that they don’t love it.
“I think they don’t realise that their dog could die.”
Mulberry Lane Vet Clinic head nurse Jenna Harris said dog owners must take extra care when travelling with pets.
“People don’t realise how quickly the temperatures can escalate and how easy the dogs can get heat exhaustion,” she said.
“People need to think about where they’re going and what they’re doing and if they’re going to the shop they need to tie the dog up outside.”
Miss Harris said even if a car window was left open, dogs could still be affected by the heat.
“It’s particularly bad for dogs such as huskies and golden retrievers,” she said.
Heatstroke deadly for animals
THE RSPCA is warning dog owners not to leave their pets locked in vehicles, particularly during the hot weather.
Even when the windows are down, dogs can still overheat and die.
“One study found that even on mild days the temperature inside the vehicle rises rapidly to dangerous levels,” an RSPCA spokesperson said.
“When the ambient temperature is 22 degreees the temperature inside a car can rise to over 47 degrees in 60 minutes. Animals in these conditions suffer horribly, please don’t risk it.”
The RSPCA says all dog owners should be aware of the signs of heatstroke which include incessant panting, weakness and fatigue, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle tremors or spasms, signs of mental confusion or delirium, staggering, collapsing and lying down.