The back seat of a car can be deadly for dogs on a hot summer's day.
The North Taranaki SPCA received two calls last week from concerned bystanders, and expect more over the next few months.
"If it's coming in this fast already, we've got to get the message out there," SPCA spokeswoman Jackie Poles Smith said.
The message is: don't leave your pets unattended in cars, and if you see one, report it to the police or the SPCA.
Cars can heat up to 39 degrees Celsius in 10 minutes, which can have serious and sometimes deadly consequences for man's best friend.
"It's incredibly dangerous. Having windows down is not enough.
"If they're panting in hot air in a car, they're not going to cool down," she said.
When SPCA staff receive a call, they ask for registration plates, location and how long the caller has noticed the animal in the vehicle.
Staff then attempt to locate the owner or in worst case scenarios, break into the vehicle to rescue the dog. "It's normally animal lovers that just haven't considered the implications.
"They underestimate the time they're going to be away," Mrs Poles Smith said.
What feels like five minutes is often a lot longer, and SPCA staff can encounter disgruntled pet owners after receiving the call.
Mrs Poles Smith said the North Taranaki SPCA had rescued animals that had suffered heat stroke in the past, but fortunately nothing more severe.
"It's about education. If you're taking your dog in your car, don't make stops. Get to your location."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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