COOL DOWN: Rachael Lore wants pet owners to know she is willing to call the RSPCA and police if she sees pets left in cars this summer.
COOL DOWN: Rachael Lore wants pet owners to know she is willing to call the RSPCA and police if she sees pets left in cars this summer. Jordan Philp

RSPCA: Leaving your dog in a hot car could send you to jail

THE woman who found a small dog locked in a car at Pialba Place on December 23 returned to the popular shopping centre less than a week later, only to find another dog in the same situation.

Rachael Lore said she could not believe it when she walked past a chihuahua locked in a dark grey four-wheel drive, only days after she called the police to rescue a maltese terrier from a dark green station wagon.

"I didn't call the police again because the owner showed up to the car pretty quickly," Rachael said.

"I honestly just couldn't believe it had happened again."

RSPCA Inspector Penny Flaherty said it was beyond disappointing people weren't listening to the warnings about such behaviour.

"It's never okay," Insp Flaherty said.

"Within three minutes they can start to overheat, it can cause internal problems because they can't cool down, they shouldn't be left alone in a car, like a child.

"It is an offense, it's cruelty, it causes stress to the animal- under the Animal Care & Protection Act, it can be a $100,000 fine, we have had people prosecuted for this offense."

According to the RSPCA Queensland website, there is no specific legislation surrounding pets being left in hot cars.

However, depending on the individual situations, leaving a pet in a hot car can be considered an offence under Section (17) Breach of Duty of Care, or section (18) Animal Cruelty of the Animal Care & Protection Act.

In Queensland, the maximum penalty for animal cruelty from two years in prison or a $110,000 fine to three years in prison or a $220,000 fine.

It was only last year that RSPCA Queensland was successful for the first time in prosecuting someone for leaving a dog in a car.



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