IN the past five years Orange has only had two reported cases of dogs being locked in vehicles, proof that the RSPCA’s message about the dangers of animals overheating is getting through, a spokesman for the organisation says.
The RSPCA spokesman, Lukas Picton, said Orange figures were good when compared with other similar sized regions.
“We’re encouraged by the low incidences of animals locked in vehicles reported to the RSPCA in Orange but we encourage pet owners in the region to pledge to never leave any animal unattended so that these figures are reduced to zero in the future,” Mr Picton said
Mr Picton said the RSPCA wanted Orange residents to support its “six minutes” campaign designed to remind people of the dangers of locking pets in cars.
“It only takes six minutes for a dog to experience heat stress when locked in a hot car, and ute trays can become hot plates when left out in the sun, so we encourage tradies to also be particularly vigilant with their pets if they are taking them to work, or have them tethered in the backs of utes,” he said.
Mr Picton said dog owners could be fined up to $22,500 and/or spend two years in jail if their dog dies of heat exhaustion.
Anyone who sees a dog suffering in a hot car is asked to call the RSPCA NSW on 1300 278 3589 (1300 CRUELTY).
RSPCA HEAT FACTS:
Temperatures in a car can rise to dangerous levels and rapidly reach more than double the outside temperature even on mild days. Tinting, parking in the shade or leaving the windows open does not help reduce the inside temperature significantly.
Dogs suffering from heat stress may pant, drool and become restless. Over time, they become weak and the colour of their gums may change. They may also start to stagger and experience vomiting, diarrhoea or seizures.
Heat stroke is an emergency. Given the seriousness of this condition, it is better to be safe than sorry and have your dog checked out by a vet.
Dogs with short faces (such as pugs and bulldogs) can suffer in the heat because they find it difficult to breathe. Obese and aged dogs are also at greater risk, as are those with heart disease and thick coats.
Emergency treatment at home should aim to bring the body temperature down at a steady rate; spray cool water onto your dog’s body and use a fan. You can also help by applying rubbing alcohol or water to the armpits, foot pads and groin. Don’t use ice or ice-cold water, as this may cool your dog down too rapidly.
Dogs travelling on the back of utes can burn their foot pads or bodies on the tray as these can get very hot in the sun. If you own a ute you should cover the trays with a suitable material and provide a shaded area.