Pet owner blasted over dog reportedly trapped in car
TEAM RPSCA Gladstone is reminding residents it can take just six minutes for a dog to die in a hot car.
It comes after the organisation's president, Nicole Allison, received reports of a dog trapped in a silver Prado parked at the Bunnings carpark around midday on Saturday.
The Bureau of Meteorology recorded temperatures in Gladstone reaching over 31 degrees around the time the incident was reported to have occurred.
Ms Allison said a passerby reported the animal was left in the car for over 15 minutes.
"It's the middle of summer, where is the common sense?" she said.
Ms Allison said the organisation was unsure of the dog's welfare.
"There is a lot of confusion about reporting these things, people think it is up to us but we can only re-home animals, we are not welfare.
"This is a matter for the police, but of course there are steps you can take before that if the situation isn't too serious."
Ms Allison said because dogs don't sweat like humans, it's much harder for them to cool down.
"Opening a window a little isn't going to do much to cool a hot car down," she said.
She said unless the dog was showing serious signs of distress, passersby could request nearby businesses make an announcement over their loudspeakers.
"Hopefully this gets them to go to their car but also embarrasses them and hopefully they re-think the decision next time," she said.
"Also, call 1300ANIMAL (the RSPCA's animal cruelty complaint hotline) and the local police on 4971 3222.
"There is no full-time inspector here so the police are generally required however they may try to refer to you RSPCA so be persistent.
"Take a photo of the animal and vehicle including registration in case for some reason its requested later or for reporting purposes.
Police Senior Sergeant Michael McGarry told News Regional Media smashing a vehicle's window to retrieve an animal was a judgment call for members of the public.
"Common sense prevails, and personally I wouldn't watch an animal die, I'm going to do what I can," he said.
"(The owners) can make a complaint and it would be investigated as such but we would look at all the circumstances and make a judgment call as to whether it would be in the public interest to prosecute someone who has caused minor damage to a vehicle to save an animal's life."
A person can determine whether an animal is suffering signs of heat stroke by their distress level, excessive panting, excess drooling or saliva, vomiting or collapse.