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RSPCA Issues Urgent Heat Warning After Dog Dies In Backyard

The RSPCA has issued an urgent plea to pet owners to make sure their animals have enough water and shade to survive the heat after a dog was found dead in South Australia.

The one-year-old dog died in a backyard in Whyalla in the Eyre Peninsula on Tuesday.

The animal welfare organisation claimed the dog had been tethered and was not left with any water or access to shade.

The temperature in Whyalla at the time was 34C, and was predicted to hit 42C.

The body of the dog has been transferred to Adelaide for an autopsy.

The owners face possible legal action.

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RSPCA South Australia said it has just one inspector in the Eyre Peninsula area and claimed they have already been "inundated" with heat-related cruelty reports in the last 48 hours.

Andrea Lewis, RSPCA SA Chief Inspector, said caring for animals in the heat is "basic stuff" that all animal owners should know.

"They must have ample shelter from this heat and unlimited access to clean water or they could easily die," she said.

“Ideally, pets should be indoors with air-conditioning on -- but at the very least they must be able to shelter from the sun throughout the day and have plenty to drink."

Multiple water containers should be provided in case one gets knocked over. Image: Getty

Lewis recommended plastic clamshells, which cost about $15, to be put in a shady spot where animals can reach it and not tip it over.

“Or have multiple other containers filled with water that your animals cannot tip over," she said.

We do not want any more animals suffering and dying like this poor dog.
A plastic pool can provide relief for pets in hot weather. Image: Getty

Data released by insurance company PetSure claimed that 358 insured pets were treated for heatstroke in 2018 -- almost double the amount in 2013.

PetSure Veterinary Officer Dr Lauren Bennett said pets should be taken to a vet immediately if they are panting heavily, drooling or if their gums change to a bright red or pink.

"If untreated, heatstroke can cause seizures, coma and even death,” she warned.

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Bennett said there is "no excuse" for leaving animals in hot cars.

“In parked cars, there is not enough ventilation, it gets hot very quickly and they can die within minutes," she said.

"Ute trays get extremely hot and are a hazard for burning paws. If you need to travel, throw an old blanket down to protect your pet."