What to do if You See a Dog or Any Animal in a Hot Car in Australia.

August 26, 2019

Don’t Let Your Dog Die in a Hot Car.
Steve Sell 8/8/2019 wacars.cm.au

Spring is here and Summer is coming. What to do if you see a dog in hot car.

What to do if you see a dog in a hot car .

A dog or any animal can quickly die of heat stress even after a short amount of time.

This is because cars heat up extremely quickly once the air conditioning has been turned off and the car parked without shade.

Once a car has stopped moving there is no air flowing over the vehicle.

Even parking in the shade or in an underground car park and leaving windows down can offer very little relief.

Because temperatures inside parked cars can very quickly reach more than double the outside temperature.

The RSPCA wants pet owners to be aware that it is an offence to confine or shut an animal in any area including in a vehicle where the animal may suffer or is likely to suffer.

The RSPCA regularly warns pet owners of the dangers of leaving animals in parked cars.

RSPCA Australia | For all creatures great & small


Pet owners should be aware that they could be liable for prosecution.

What To Do If You See An Animal Locked In A Car

When you see a dog or any animal locked in a car, or any confined space in hot weather there are some actions that you can take:

1. Make a note of the vehicle’s registration number and the location and report it to the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589)

2. If this occurs in a shopping centre ask the centre management to use the public address system to page the animal owner by broadcasting the registration details over the pa speaker system. This should result in the owner returning to the car..

3. Watch the animal, until help arrives. Keep back from the vehicle so that you do not add to the animals distress.

4. Do not smash a window in a rescue attempt. Whilst this can seem to be the gallant and brave response, this action can add to the animals stress and cause panic and shock.

This should only be done as a last resort.

5. Obtain and record as much information as possible.

Furthemore including the vehicle details, the time and date, photos or videos of the dog or other animal in the vehicle to help provide evidence to substantiate and assist with any investigation.

6. Only when the appropriate authorities are too slow in responding and you firmly believe that the animals life is in imminent danger.

You should find a witness or more than one if possible who shares your assessment that if immediate steps are not taken the animal will die.

Then and only then take whatever steps are necessary to remove the suffering animal from the car and wait for authorities to arrive.

7. Heatstroke symptoms manifest as restlessness, excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lack of coordination.

If an animal or dog shows any of these symptoms, get them out of the heat.

If possible into an air-conditioned vehicle or building to help lower their body temperature.

The animal should be taken to a veterinarian for assessment as soon as possible.
If you are unable to get the animal to a vet call animal control and explain it is an emergency.

8. Provide water to drink, (not iced water) and spray the dog with a hose.

Or immerse him or her in a tub of cool water if possible.

Do this for up to two minutes in help lower their body temperature gradually.
Placing the dog in front of a fan and apply wet towels to the stomach and chest and paws can also help.
Be careful not to cool the animal too quickly and avoid ice or overly cold water.

9. Be aware of the effects of heat stroke as  these can be long lasting. This can cause serious health problems such as organ damage.

10. Know the penalties.

Finally if you leave your animal in a car on a hot day you can be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act.

The maximum penalty is $50,000 or up to five years imprisonment.
There can be a lengthy prohibition order preventing you from owning an animal for an amount of time determined by the courts.