Greater Shepparton City Council would like to remind residents to take extra care of their pets in the warmer weather with new laws being introduced last year to help protect animals in the heat.
Council Director Sustainable Development Geraldine Christou said, “Please, never leave your pet inside a vehicle unattended in hot weather. The temperature inside a car can double within minutes, possibly leading to heat exhaustion and/or death.”
“It is now illegal to leave an animal unattended inside a motor vehicle for more than 10 minutes when the outside temperature is above 27 degrees celsius”.
“It is also against the law to secure a dog on a metal tray of a motor vehicle or trailer when outside temperatures are above 27 degrees celsius, without the dog having access to an area of insulating material protecting the dog from contact with the metal surface”.
“During hot weather, the metal tray of a ute or trailer heats up and can burn dogs’ paws. If you transport your dog on the metal tray on your ute, you need to install insulation on the floor such as a rubber mat or blankets and secure your dog so they can’t fall off.”
“At home, be mindful of our furry friends and take extra precautions to protect your pets such as rabbits, guinea pigs, birds and dogs from the heat. Provide extra water bowls with lots of cool clean water in case they spill over. Ensure you provide access to shelter and shade at all times, including moving hutches out of the sun and if you can, bring your pets inside during extreme heat”.
“It is also best to not exercise your dogs in hot weather, as footpaths and roads can be extremely hot on their paws and dogs can easily overheat. Try exercising early in the morning or later in the day when it is cooler.” said Ms Christou.
To report an animal that is at risk of heat exhaustion, has been left inside an unattended vehicle or is on the back of a ute without being tied up or without insulation, please contact Council’s Community Rangers on (03) 5832 9700 or the RSPCA. In the event of an emergency, call 000.