BREED ENTHUSIAST LOSES DOG AND RECEIVES $35,000 IN PENALTIES FOR DOG LEFT IN HOT CAR
Adele Culverwell, 65, who lives five minutes drive from Carousel Shopping Centre lost ownership of her dog and was fined $5,000 and ordered to pay $30,000 in costs relating to the care of the dog Roxy and for legal costs.
Magistrate Huston said that it would have been "unbearably hot" for the dog. "It should have been obvious that conditions in the car were unbearable." He also went on to say that her "conduct in confining the dog was completely unacceptable." The Magistrate observed that there would be "community outrage" and that there was a need to "discourage others". Mrs Culverwell showed no remorse.
Her dog Roxy, a three year old Borzoi, will now be rehomed by RSPCA.
RSPCA Chief Inspector welcomed today's decision as a good outcome for the animal's welfare.
"Throughout the proceedings Mrs Culverwell has never shown remorse for her actions and had not ruled out doing the same thing again. It is a good outcome that we are now able to rehome Roxy to a responsible owner" said Ms Swift.
The case is believed to be the first prosecution in Western Australia for cruelly confining a dog in a hot car. It sends a warning to all dog owners about leaving dogs in hot cars during the warmer months.
"With the first hot day of spring this weekend, it is a very timely reminder to not leave your dog in the car. Not only could your dog be at great risk of harm, you may also be at risk of losing your dog and finding yourself in front of the courts" said Ms Swift.
"This message has been out there in the public domain for many years and some people are still putting their dogs at risk of serious long term health problems and even death by cooking them in hot cars."
She said that the majority of West Australians were now well aware of the message and people who left their dogs in hot cars were likely to be reported to the RSPCA, the police or to local Shire rangers.
Last summer, the RSPCA received almost 600 calls about dogs in hot cars.
- It is preferable not to leave dogs in a vehicle at any time of the year - even when the windows are down dogs can still overheat and die. If in doubt, leave your animals at home.
- Even on mild days the temperature inside the vehicle rises rapidly to dangerous levels.
- When the ambient temperature is 22°C the temperature inside a car can rise to over 47°C in a matter of minutes.
- The high temperatures in the car combined with inadequate ventilation/air flow mean that the dog cannot thermo-regulate leaving them vulnerable to over-heating which can be fatal. Animals in these conditions can suffer an agonizing death.