RSPCA Victoria tackles summer cruelty and neglect head on with new campaign

RSPCA Victoria is looking out for animals like Lucy and Marley this summer with a new state-wide campaign targeting three of the most reported cruelty concerns during the hotter months. The campaign comes just as the World Meteorological Organisation announced that 2020 is on track to be one of three warmest years on record.

Data collected over the past seven years shows that cruelty reports have peaked every January with more than 45 reports per day. This compares to approximately 26 reports per day in the winter months of June, July and August.

Reports related to dogs without shelter or water, dogs left in hot cars or potential abandonment of an animal account for 27.94% of reports made to RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate since 2014.

Lucy and Marley were two such dogs. A concerned member of the public made a report to RSPCA Victoria’s Inspectorate after discovering Lucy and her sister Marley abandoned on a property, in the middle of summer, with no water and no shelter. RSPCA Victoria vets said the dogs were incredibly emaciated, Lucy with a body score of 1.5 and Marley with a body score of just one out of five. One more week left alone and they would have died.

RSPCA Victoria is imploring people to consider not only the responsibility they have to their pet, but how quickly things can turn to tragedy in the hotter months.

“Stories like Lucy and Marley’s are incredibly common. But not all of them have a happy ending,” said Rebecca Cook, Head of Prevention at RSPCA Victoria.

“Every year we see the same trend. As soon as the weather warms up, reports of animal cruelty and neglect to our Inspectorate skyrocket. And the saddest part is that it’s entirely preventable.”

“It takes just six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car. Temperatures can double within moments and what seems like an innocent trip to the supermarket can have a devastating outcome when pet owners leave their pets unattended during the heat of the summer.”

This summer, RSPCA Victoria is asking people to do three simple things:

  • Never leave your dog in a hot car
  • Make sure your pet always has access to water and shade
  • Make plans for your pet if you are going away, and let your neighbour know they’re being looked after.

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