Desmond Bellamy, PETA Australia
Heatwaves and record temperatures are being recorded right across the country, even before the official start of summer. This is not just uncomfortable – it can be deadly.
Authorities are pleading for motorists to leave their dogs at home or in a cool location. There have already been an alarming number of reports of animals suffering heat stress in cars and backyards.
If dogs are left in a parked car for even a short time, they can die. On a 30-degree day, the temperature inside a car can potentially rise to well over forty degrees in less than five minutes. In one test, the temperature rose to 57 degrees in twelve minutes. Any animal left inside that car would be dead.
If you see a dog showing any symptoms of heatstroke – including restlessness, heavy panting, vomiting, lethargy and lack of coordination – get the animal into the shade immediately. You can lower a dog’s body temperature by providing the dog with water, applying a cold towel to the dog’s head and chest or immersing the dog in tepid (not ice-cold) water. Then immediately call a veterinarian.
Please, when it’s warm outside, leave animals at home. If you see a dog left in a car, have the car’s owner paged at nearby stores or call 000 immediately and never leave until the animal is safe–their life may depend on your actions.