Pets in CarsKeep pets at home rather than inside baking cars, SPCA warns Northlanders - Northern Advocate 28.2.2017
The advice follows the rescue of a number of mostly dogs from vehicles at popular shopping spots in Whangarei and the mid north since November last year.
Four such cases were reported in January and three in February this year.
In one case, a cat with a harness had its lead tied to a car's gearstick at the Warehouse carpark in Okara about two weeks ago.
SPCA Whangarei was called and recorded the temperature inside the car at 39C before breaking the window.
"The cat was panting heavily which they don't normally do. The owner was away for 30 minutes and was quite apologetic when she returned to her car and we gave her a verbal warning," SPCA Whangarei Inspectorate team leader Helena Sweeting said.
She said it was pleasing to note people were becoming increasingly aware of animal welfare issues and calling SPCA or police if they came across distressed animals.
"Normally we'd be flat out with rescuing animals left in cars at this time of the year which means people must be getting the message," Ms Sweeting said.
The Bay of Islands SPCA attended to four dogs and one cat left in vehicles since December last year.
Manager John Logie said those were the number of cases reported to the SPCA and fortunately none of the animals died in the vehicles
"Our recommendation is unless people leave their animals in a shade with windows fully down, they should leave them at home."
He said people should also watch their animals when getting into vehicles because pets could sneakily jump on board without their owners knowing about it.
Mr Logie said a cat or a dog could die from heat stress within 10 to 15 minutes.
"We use a motorcheck to track down the owner of vehicles in which distressed animals are. In one case, we tracked down a man who said his wife was at the hairdressers.
"We told him we'd have to break the window and get the animal out but she came to the car after 15 minutes. We gave her a written warning."