The AA and NZ Companion Animal Council warn pet owners not to leave their four legged friends in vehicles, with roadside officers already attending more than 530 callouts this year.
The NZ Companion Animal Council is hoping new regulations which give animal welfare inspectors the power to fine people for leaving a dog in a hot vehicle will increase awareness of the associated risks.
As of October 1, if a dog left in a vehicle becomes heat stressed; the dog owner, vehicle owner and person left in charge of the dog can each be fined $300 under the Animal Welfare (Care and Procedure) Regulations 2018.
New Zealand Companion Animal Council (NZCAC) Acting Operations Manager Bianka Atlas says they have a simple message for dog owners.
“If the purpose of your trip is not to take your dog somewhere, please leave your dog at home.
AA Roadservice has attended more than 4000 callouts nationwide for animals locked in vehicles since 2012, at an average of 52 callouts a month or 637 callouts a year.
AA National roadservice manager John Healy says pet owners should never leave their pet locked in a vehicle.
“The temperature inside a vehicle with no or little ventilation rises rapidly, particularly in summer and it doesn’t take long before a pet gets agitated and suffers the effects of heat exhaustion which can have potentially fatal consequences.”