The SPCA is investigating after a dog left in a car died of heat exhaustion while its owner was fishing.
Gisborne District Council team leader of animal control Steve Greaves said a member of the public noticed a car at the mouth of the Uawa River at Tolaga Bay with steamed up windows about noon on Saturday.
Taking a closer look, the woman found a dog barely alive inside the car.
The woman went into Tolaga Bay township and an animal control officer was called to go to the car.
Greaves said the car and the dog belonged to a man in his 20s who had gone out on a fishing boat for three hours.
The officer located the man's father and was able to enter the car but was too late to save the dog, Greaves said.
The dog was believed to be a brindle and white greyhound cross, about one year old.
The temperature was 26 degrees Celsius outside the car. There was no water left in the car and the dog would have died from heat exhaustion, Greaves said.
''We have referred the matter to the SPCA, who are investigating and may look at laying charges. I certainly hope they do,'' Greaves said.
- The Dominion Post