It’s a truly unfortunate scenario at many shopping malls and centres and it extends to beachfronts, small and large shopping centres and any public area where people believe their stop won’t be very long.
The following steps will help you assist any dog trapped inside a hot car:
- Determine if the owner of the vehicle is nearby – ask any restaurants, shops or offices nearby to make an announcement to their customers.
- Determine if the windows are open sufficiently, and if the dog has any access to a water bowl that has perhaps been left inside for him/her. Parking in a shaded area is not necessarily any better – and dependent on the outside temperature, can still be as dangerous.
- Call the Cape of Good Hope SPCA Inspectorate (021 700 4158/9 or 083 326 1604 a/h), or any other nearby animal welfare for assistance – and give as much detail as you can. Take a photo or video of the dog inside the vehicle and also include footage or a picture of the car registration.
- DO NOT break the windows of the vehicle to rescue the dog. This act is still illegal and is best left to authorities like the South African Police Service (SAPS) or Law Enforcement. If a dog is found to be in major distress, it is important to call SAPS along with the SPCA or other animal welfare, so that the dog may legally, and safely, be removed from the vehicle. A person leaving their animal in a vehicle unattended could face criminal prosecution in terms of the Animals Protection Act No. 71 of 1962