Dog owner fined $3000 over cruel act: 'Lucky to be alive'

The desperate fox-terrier cross drank water for almost 30 seconds after she was rescued from the hot car.

A man has been ordered to pay more than $5000 for leaving his dog shut inside a car during the hot Australian summer.

Bodycam footage from December in Perth shows the moment Tipsy was freed as the temperature outside soared to 29 degrees. “Come on sweetheart,” the inspector can be heard saying to the dehydrated fox terrier-cross.

After being placed on the grass, the dog continues to pant loudly and his rescuer gives him a small amount of water. After receiving veterinary treatment at the RSPCA, Tipsy desperately gulps down water for close to 30 seconds.

A red circle around a hot dog in a car after she was rescued.
A 32-year-old man has been fined $3000 after leaving his dog inside a hot car. Source: RSPCA WA

After facing the Perth Magistrates Court on Friday, the offender was banned from having contact with pets, fined $3000 and ordered to pay $2246 in court and care costs.

RSPCA called to help 200 dogs from cars

Frustrated after attending 200 callouts to help dogs trapped in cars across Western Australia last summer, the RSPCA said it was “grateful” they were able to save Tipsy and that she was lucky to be alive.

‘It’s heart-wrenching that despite repeated warnings people continue to put their pets at risk,” inspector manager Kylie Green said. “If you love your dog, leave them at home with plenty of shade and water. It's better to leave them at home for a short time, than to risk losing them forever.”

What to do if you witness animal cruelty

After being rescued from the hot car, a vet found Tipsy was dehydrated and likely suffering from heat stress. She made a full recovery after being given IV fluids overnight.

Tipsy’s owner was convicted under the state’s animal welfare act for confining her in a manner likely to cause harm, and for not providing her with sufficient water.

If you see a distressed dog in Western Australia, you can report it to the RSCPA on 1300 278 385 or the police on 131 444.

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