As Perth swelters through a heatwave, the RSPCA has revealed its officers are being called out to rescue dogs from hot cars more than once a day on average.
The agency has received 76 calls since December, and while none of the incidents have proved fatal, the worrying number of call-outs shows people are not heeding the repeated warnings, a spokeswoman says.
It can take just six minutes for the temperature in a parked car to rise to a deadly level.
And with temperatures riding, the RSPCA is urging pet owners to avoid the potentially deadly situation, and just leave their dogs at home.
“Dogs cool down by panting — breathing in air that is cooler than their body temperature — they can’t regulate their temperature if they are left in a hot car,” they said.
“The situation can quickly turn dire, and the effects of heatstroke can be fatal.”
Window tinting and parking in the shade or leaving the windows down provides little or no relief.
RSPCA WA inspector manager Kylie Green said the kindest thing dog owners can do for their beloved pooches is to leave them at home with shade and plenty of water.
“Even if you are just popping into the shops or stopping at the post office, it takes just six minutes for the temperature in the parked car to reach a fatal level,” she said.
“When the temperature outside is just a mild 22C, the temperature inside a parked car can rise to over 47C in a matter of minutes, so you can imagine it would be far more dangerous on a 37C day.
“Dogs in these conditions can suffer an agonising death.
“Our message is simple – if you love your dog, leave them at home. A quick visit to the shops could cost your dog their life. Don’t put your dog’s life at risk.”