SPCA New Zealand

If you love them, don’t leave them! The dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars

20 December 2019
If you love them, don’t leave them! The dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars

Leaving your dog trapped in a hot car can have devastating results, and is an infringeable regulatory offence under the Animal Welfare Act.

“Every summer we remind people to never leave a dog in the car, and every summer we still receive calls almost every day from people around the country, concerned about pets without shade, water, or locked in hot cars,” says Andrea Midgen, SPCA CEO.

Many pet owners don’t understand how quickly a car can heat up. In a hot car, even with the windows slightly open, panting is not enough to keep a dog’s body temperature within a safe range. On a 30°C day, the temperature inside your car can reach 39°C in less than 5 minutes and in 30 minutes it goes up to 49°C. This occurs even in the shade and if your windows are open.

Since the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedures) 2018 regulations came into effect 14 months ago, SPCA has received 883 complaints where a dog has been reportedly left in a vehicle. January 2019 was the busiest month with 181 complaints laid.

“If you love them, don’t leave them. Dogs suffering in hot cars is entirely preventable, and something we want all dog owners to take heed of,” says Andrea.

“Don’t risk the welfare of your pet while it waits for you in a hot car. Always take them with you when you leave the car, or if they can’t join you, leave them at home.”

What to do if you are concerned about a dog in a hot car:

If you find a dog locked in a car in distress, please call the Police or your local SPCA immediately. Do not smash the window as this puts both you and the dog at risk.

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