Dog left on 'scorching' ute tray rescued by police
POLICE are warning pet owners that life or death comes down to a matter of minutes after a man was charged with animal cruelty for leaving his dog to roast on the back of a ute in the middle of the day.
The Clifton man left his Ridgeback-cross stranded on a hot aluminium tray without shade or water on Palmerin St on Tuesday.
A concerned member of the public watched the dog become more and more distressed in the 35 degree heat and contacted police who rushed to its aid.
Warwick general duties constable Ben Lyell said the dog was lucky to be OK.
"It's very confronting for members of the public to witness. Everyone cares about animals," Const Lyell said.
"As a police officer it would be nice not to have to go to these things, it's just not nice to see."
Const Lyell said owners often intended to leave their pets for a few minutes but lost track of time.
"Vehicles can heat up in a matter of minutes on a hot day like that and the animals can't cope," he said.
Local veterinary nurse and wildlife carer Pascale Farrow said the effects of overheating could be irreversible if left too long.
"Dogs don't sweat like humans and when they can't cool down their organs shut down and they go into heat stress which can lead to brain damage," she said.
"They literally cook from the inside, and it only takes 10 minutes."
Ms Farrow said people should be more cautious and plan ahead when taking their dogs in the car.
"They want to take their best friends with them everywhere, but it can end very badly," Ms Farrow said.
"I would like to think it's not negligence because there is so much awareness about it now but I just don't know if the message is getting through even though there are laws to prevent this stuff."
Dogs should never be locked in cars in summer and pooches secured on the back of utes should be tied up safely in the shade with a pad under their feet and access to water.
Ms Farrow said anyone who saw a dog at risk of overheating should call police or get the dog into shade and safety as urgently as possible.