Dog left in car divides opinion – but who's in the wrong?

A “heartbreaking” photo of a little white dog locked inside a car in Sydney has sparked debate among social media users.

The image of the canine against the door of the BMW in Bondi has gone viral since it was uploaded to Facebook on Wednesday night.

In the post, a local woman pleaded with the owners to return.

“If this is your car parked on Hall Street you’ve left your sweet little dog in the car and he is barking from anxiety,” she wrote.

“We’ve been here for about half an hour listening to him cry and it is heartbreaking.

“You should never leave your dog in the car! Please come get him ASAP!”

The BMW parked on the street (left) and the white dog inside (right)
A small white dog was pictured inside a BMW parked in Bondi on Wednesday night. Source: Facebook

More than 200 people have since commented on the post, with many urging the woman to “smash the window.”

“Oh my god, break the window,” one person said. “The poor baby!”

“You should 100% call the police,” cried another, “this is awful!”

But many were on the other side of the fence and leapt to the defence of the dog’s owner.

“It looks like the dog has a toy, the windows are down, there is a rug on the seat and if anything standing at the window and taking photos is probably going to make it worse,” one person wrote.

“The dog doesn’t seem to be in any danger and most likely just misses its owner,” another said.

“It’s a cool winter evening! He has his toy and blankey on the seat,” someone else added.

“It’s no different to leaving your dog in a crate at home. The dog is clearly not in any harm,” another typed.

The image of the dog inside the vehicle spilt social media users. Source: Facebook
The image of the dog inside the vehicle spilt social media users. Source: Facebook

While even dog owners agreed.

“I leave my blue heeler in the car with the windows down all the time,”one man said. “He’s absolutely fine with it. I would be furious if someone broke my window.”

“I have a dog who I can guarantee would rather be left in a cool car for half an hour than dragged around Bondi,” another claimed.

“What’s the difference between leaving your dog in the car for half an hour or leaving your dog at home for half an hour? I’m sure the dog will be perfectly fine once the owners return.”

But those on the other side were quick to hit back.

“The dog is stressed because it’s locked inside the car, that’s the difference,” one person wrote. “It’s cruel. At home it has space to move around.”

“Minimal air, unfamiliar territory, no food or water,” another added. “Pretty big difference between being left in a car and the comfort of your own home,” another said.

“There is really no excuse to leave your dog in a car without water for extended periods of time,” someone else added.

Criminal offence

According to NSW Police, keeping a dog in a locked car can be an offence under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.

As part of specific provisions in relation to the Carriage and Conveyance of animals, “a person shall not carry or convey an animal in a manner which unreasonably, unnecessarily or unjustifiably inflicts pain upon the animal.”

The maximum penalty is six months imprisonment.

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