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Dog wellbeing

If you’re responsible for an animal, it’s your duty to look after them. The Animal Welfare Act 2006 is based on five principles. Owners should ensure their animals have freedom from;

  • hunger and thirst
  • discomfort
  • pain, injury and disease
  • express normal behaviour
  • fear and distress.

Dogs left in cars

The most common kind of animal cruelty is dogs being left in vehicles. Every year dogs suffer or die when owners leave them in a parked car.

Leaving a dog in a vehicle can be harmful to your dog’s health. For example, if it’s 22 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47 degrees within 60 minutes, which can sadly result in a dog dying.

Being in the heat is tough for dogs because they can only cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads. In hot stuffy cars dogs can't cool down and leaving a window open or a sunshield on windscreens often does not keep your car cool enough.

Recognising a dog in distress

Signs of a dog in distress can include heavy panting, salivation, a rapid pulse, very red gums and tongue, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhoea and lack of coordination.

We’re committed to taking firm action in cases where an animal may be suffering. Under the Animal Welfare Act, the Criminal Law Act and the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, we are authorised to rescue an animal that is not being looked after adequately.

Report a dog in distress

If you see a dog left in a car and it’s beginning to look distressed, we recommend you call 101 to alert an officer and attempt to locate the owner.

If the dog appears to be getting close to life or death, call us on 999 to report this urgently. 

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