Dog owners and truckies have come under the spotlight of Wairarapa SPCA after leaving animals inside vehicles on hot summer days.
Manager Val Ball said yesterday, despite making pleas to dog owners not to leave their animals to suffer heat stroke in cars while shopping, the practice is still regularly happening.
In the past few days SPCA staff have had to bail out distressed pets from cars by going into shops and asking shop assistants to summon the owners of the vehicles by putting their car registration details over PA systems, and then having the animals rescued. Mrs Ball said it takes a dog only about five minutes to become distressed if left in a hot car, and it is not good enough just to wind a window down by a few centimetres.
"That doesn't create any air movement in the car.
"The best thing to do if you take your dog to the supermarket, or somewhere where you are going to spend some time shopping is to make sure you have water available for the dog and park in the shade.
"Then partly wind windows down," Mrs Ball said.
She said pet owners should realise they can be prosecuted for leaving animals unattended in cars. If the animal became distressed the owners could be summoned for neglecting an animal.
Mrs Ball said another concern at this time of year is the number of fully laden truck-trailers being parked up and left on roadsides.
"We have been fielding calls from people reporting these instances to us. On Thursday I was called out to a trailer parked up near Henley Lake on Te Ore Ore Road that was fully laden with sheep and had been left in full sun for over an hour," Mrs Ball said.
Another was parked on the side of State Highway 2 near Juken NZ that had been left for more than an hour and a half, Mrs Ball said. In both cases the sheep had appeared distressed, she said.