• RSPCA WA is reminding dog owners to leave their pets at home on hot days after receiving a large number of ‘dogs in hot cars’ reports before summer has even officially started in WA.
  • RSPCA WA says the weather is already hot enough that a dog can quickly die if left in a parked car for even a short amount of time, urging owners to leave their best friend at home and not put them at risk.
  • Since October 1 this year, there have been 83 reports of dogs left in parked cars on hot days.
  • RSPCA WA received a total of 320 reports of dogs in hot cars last summer*.
  • Parking in the shade or underground and leaving windows down offers little to no relief – with temperatures inside parked cars quickly reaching double the outside temperature.
  • Pet owners need to be aware that it is an offence to confine your animal anywhere, including in a vehicle where it suffers - or even is likely to suffer - and owners could face prosecution.
  • If you see a dog locked in a car in hot weather, take the following action:
  • Note down the vehicle’s registration number and location and report it immediately to the RSPCA Cruelty Hotline on 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 3589);
  • If you’re at a shopping centre, ask the centre management to page the owner of the vehicle by reading out the registration details over the speaker system;
  • Keep an eye on the dog until help arrives but maintain a suitable distance ensuring not to agitate the dog which could cause further distress;
  • Gather as much information as possible (vehicle details, time and date, photos of the dog in the vehicle etc.) to substantiate the report and assist with the investigation
  • A dog died after being left in a car at Coogee Beach on Australia Day this year.

*1 October 2016 – 31 March 2017

RSPCA WA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift:

“I’m highly concerned by the number of reports we’ve received already this season for dogs in hot cars, and I cannot believe that the message still isn’t sinking in.

“Why people insist on taking their dogs out with them when they’re going out, even just to the shops, I just can’t understand.  Popping to the shops for five minutes is not a reality, what if the checkout queue was long or you bumped in to someone you knew and had a chat; even a few minutes is too long.

“Some people are still chancing it but what they don’t realise is they are causing harm to their dog. The effects of heatstroke can be long-lasting, causing serious long-term health problems such as organ damage.

“I know most people love their pets and don’t want to put them in danger, that’s why they need to leave them at home on hot days, where they are safe.

“Yes, your dog may miss you if you go out without them, but it won’t kill them, what’s worse is leaving them in a hot car as that could.”

People who leave their dog in a car on a hot day can be prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act and face a maximum penalty of $50,000 or five years’ imprisonment, and a lengthy prohibition order preventing them from owning an animal for an amount of time determined by the courts.




  • Jean Fletcher:

    21 Feb 2018 16:42:30

    Dear RSPCA

    I had a woman stalking me today with her camera for leaving my dog in the car for 10 minutes. I did not consider it to be a hot day. The car was in the shade and there was a cool breeze blowing through the open windows. The dog was not stressed and did not go to her water as soon as we got home. I felt that she was quite comfortable. So I have looked you up online and I want to know:-

    - What do you define as a hot car?
    - What do you define as a hot day?

    Thanks for your response


  • Laurie Park:

    26 Sep 2018 19:41:27

    Please inform if there is an act or regulation in Western Australia on leaving dogs in vehicles.


    08 Oct 2018 16:33:21

    Hi Laurie,

    Under the Animal Welfare Act (2002), people can be prosecuted if it is shown that they confined their animal in a way that is likely to cause it harm. With evidence showing that it can take just six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car, this can be considered cruelty under the Animal Welfare Act (2002).

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