TRAGEDY: Heat kills much-loved pet in Bundy
RSPCA inspectors are warning animal owners about the dangers of extreme heat conditions after a dog was found dead in a backyard.
Bundaberg Inspector Penny Flaherty said she was called to a house where a dog had become entangled in a clothes line.
"This was not a neglect case,” she said.
"It was an extremely sad and tragic event that has left the owners absolutely heartbroken.”
Ms Flaherty said the well cared for and much-loved miniature poodle had access to lots of shade and fresh water when tied up by a long rope at the home.
"The dog had become entangled in the rope and could not move so, as the daylight changed, it was stuck in the sun,” she said.
"Once in that situation, the animal became distressed and, with the high temperatures, it was a lethal combination.
"These are the types of tragic situations that can happen in hot weather.”
With the heat expected to rise to 35 degrees over the next few days, Ms Flaherty said pet owners needed to be aware of the hidden dangers.
"Make sure there is nowhere that your pet can get entangled if they are tied up,” she said.
"Dogs need plenty of shade and also solid shelter as the sun moves all day.
"There needs to be lots of water available in buckets that can't be tipped over and another tip is to freeze large blocks of ice to put in the water while you are away.”
According to RSPCA Queensland spokesman Michael Beatty, the problem was spread state wide, with inspectors swamped with calls from people reporting animals suffering heat stress.
"In the past week we've had 28 hot animal in car jobs, 62 jobs regarding animals with little or no shade and shelter and 110 with insufficient water,” he said.
"These numbers are horrifying.
"If it's 30 degrees outside, the temperature inside a car can potentially rise to well over 40 degrees in less than five minutes.
"We tested a light-coloured sedan and the temperature rose to 57 degrees in 12 minutes. Any animal left inside would have been dead.”
Mr Beatty said dogs left in backyards could also be in danger.
"A dog can survive for days without food, but in these temperatures, if they don't have shade or can't reach water they'll die,” he said.
"A rope or a chain can easily become entangled in furniture or plants and that can be fatal. It's far better to make the yard or courtyard secure and then it won't be necessary to tether the dog in the first place.
"We would also recommend that there are at least two to three containers of water in case one gets knocked over.”
The weather in Bundaberg is set to reach a maximum temperature of 35 degrees on Monday.
If you see an animal in distress, contact the RSPCA's 24-hour Animal Emergency Hotline on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).