Dogs left in hot cars prompt warning

Too hot . . . SPCA Otago animal welfare inspector Sophia Tinirau checks the temperature of a car inhabited by SPCA model dog Archie. PHOTO: EMMA PERRY

Think twice about taking your dogs out with you this summer.

That is the message the SPCA is pushing after receiving calls nearly every day from concerned members of the public about dogs left in cars.

On a 30decC day the temperature inside a vehicle will reach 39degC after just 10 minutes, and 49degC after 30 minutes – even if the car is parked in shade.

A dog can withstand 42degC heat for a short time before brain damage or even death can occur.

SPCA animal welfare inspector Sophia Tinirau has witnessed first hand the damage done.

“I don’t think people mean harm when leaving their dogs in cars but they often do not realise what they are doing,” Ms Tinirau said.

“Last week we received multiple calls from concerned people about two dogs locked in a car.

“We estimated they were in there for two hours on an incredibly hot day.

“Even though the windows were down they had no water. One was trying to hide in the shade.

“We’re hot standing outside the car, imagine how hot the dogs are inside the car.”

Ms Tinirau’s advice is to always phone the SPCA, on 473-8252, if you feel concerned about a dog in a car – even on weekends.

“We will try to mitigate any suffering that the dog may be experiencing.”

Ideally, dogs should be left at home with shelter, water and shade.

“Think and plan out car rides with your dog before you take them.

“One trip is not worth your dog’s life.”