RSPCA Queensland is desperately pleading for motorists to leave their pets at home and not in the car, with temperatures set to rise dramatically over the coming days.
The animal welfare organisation says they’ve already received an alarming number of calls from people reporting animals suffering heat stress in cars and backyards since the beginning of the month.
They say the weather is hot enough already that if a dog is left in a parked car for even a short amount of time it can die.
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“If it’s thirty degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can potentially rise to well over forty degrees in less than five minutes,” RSPCA spokesperson Michael Beatty said.
“We tested a light coloured sedan and the temperature rose to 57 degrees in twelve minutes. Any animal left inside would have been dead.”
Mr Beatty said the amount of pets left suffering in the heat since the beginning of the year is shocking.
“We’ve had 1,126 reports of animals being left in hot cars and 2,026 of animals being left with no shelter or shade, ” he said.
“A dog can survive for days without food, but in these temperatures, if they don’t have shade or can’t reach water they’ll die.”
He warned that dogs left in backyards can also be in danger.
“A rope or a chain can easily become entangled in furniture or plants and that can be fatal. It’s far better to make the yard or courtyard secure and then it won’t be necessary to tether the dog in the first place.
“We would also recommend that there are at least two to three containers of water in case one gets knocked over.”
If you see an animal in distress, contact the RSPCA’s 24/7 Animal Emergency Hotline 1300 ANIMAL.