Dog owner's carpark act leaves Aussies 'physically sick'

There have been multiple instances of Aussies discovering dogs locked in hot cars this summer, with renewed calls for owners to avoid dangerous situations.

A dog owner’s “cruel” act in a busy Aussie shopping centre has sparked a heated discussion, with some saying the infuriating behaviour left them feeling “physically sick”.

A woman leaving the Noosa Village shopping centre carpark in NSW on Thursday was horrified to come across a panting dog caged in the back of a Toyota ute as temperatures reached a sizzling 31C.

The angry woman took a photo of the German Shepard crouching behind the metal bars as the sun beams directly onto the dog. It appears someone is sitting in the driver’s seat of the car.

The caged dog in the back of the ute parked at Noosa Village shopping village in NSW as the sun glares down.
A shopper was horrified to find a caged dog in the back of the ute parked at the Noosa Village shopping village on Thursday. Source: Facebook

“To the not nice person in Noosa Village carpark today with their boat on in 31 degree heat, I hope someone locks you in a cage thats too small and leaves you in the sun,” she posted on Facebook. “Horrible people should not have dogs!”

Locals fume over dog left in back of ute in 31C

The woman went on to explain that “one minute” after she snapped the image a woman walked out of the shopping centre and got in the “nice air conditioned car and they drove off”.

Numerous horrified Aussies lashed out at the dog’s owners, noting the heat coming off the ute’s tray would have been “intense”. “This PISSES me right off. That dog looks pretty old too…way to treat your best mate,” one local fumed.

“I would have taken to the vet it if the cage was unlocked. Would you leave your child locked up in your car on a hot day?” another said.

The Noosa Village shopping centre.
The woman said temperatures reached 31C as the dog sat in the Noosa Village carpark. Source: Google Images

A woman who identified herself as an emergency veterinary nurse said she sees “dogs die or suffer terribly from heart stroke all the time”. “It’s no joke and not as simple as ‘giving them a bowel of water’. They literally cook from the inside out and their organs turn to mush and bleed out,” she said.

“It can be a long slow process and just because you get them to the vet doesn’t mean we can fix them, yet we try, and can cost thousands and can takes days/weeks for them to actually pass away or recover.”

A handful of people argued that because someone was sitting in the ute while it was parked, the dog wasn’t left unattended. “You can see there is a man in the driver’s seat. Why didn’t you speak directly to him about it. Either call the police and report him or speak to him,” one resident wrote. Others suggested a judgement could not be made from a single photo.

Numerous reports of dogs left in hot cars

It is illegal in all Australian states to transport dogs unrestrained on the back of utes or trailers, with some exemptions for dogs moving cattle. While the wording of the law varies state to state, dogs must be restrained in either an enclosed space like a cage or follow strict tethering rules. The RSPCA states owners should ensure the dog’s necessary restraint is long enough to allow the dog to stand or lie down, and that people should not drive with their pet in the tray of the ute in extreme weather conditions.

There have been multiple recent reports of Aussies finding dogs inside hot cars in recent months, prompting animal advocates to once again urge people to leave them at home.

Left, the brown and white dog was found in a hot car lying down in the shade. Right, the car parked in direct sunlight in Portland, Victoria.
Last week, a dog was found in a hot car in Portland, Victoria visibly panting from the heat. Source: Supplied

The temperature inside a car “can increase rapidly, even on moderately warm days, and become much hotter than the outside temperature”, a spokesperson for the Animal Welfare League of QLD previously told Yahoo News Australia.

“This can happen within minutes, making it unsafe for any pet to be left inside a car. Many people think cracking the windows helps, but it doesn’t significantly reduce the temperature inside a car. It’s a dangerous misconception.

“Dogs are particularly susceptible to heatstroke since they do not sweat like humans. Overheating can lead to serious health issues and, in severe cases, death.”

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