Heat a killer of pets

By Ross Pringle


Sweltering in the heat of recent days, it was a difficult ask to stay cool.

Especially on Tuesday - Christmas Day - it seemed the hardest thing to do was stay in a shady spot, hence a game of move the umbrella and shuffle the seat as we chased the shadows to stave off the worst of the sun's rays. Sunscreen was applied liberally and often and the small pool we have has never been more welcomed, despite its lack of depth or size.

It was a game mirrored by the animals in the paddocks around us, minus the swimming pool, of course. It was just as well they had trees for shade lest the heat get the better of them. As it was they could do little more than lie in a shady spot, panting.

So spare a thought for the poor animals - pets - dragged into town in recent days and left in overheated vehicles. The SPCA today reports a significant rise in calls to check on the welfare of many of our supposedly loved companion animals.

Readers may recall that we once had a pet dog, who we sadly had to have put down during the year. Spike was with us long before we had children and was our constant companion. Like so many animals, he had a love-hate relationship with heat.

Some days he would chase the sun around, others he would venture off in search of a cool, shaded area.

But any time we did venture out, we would consider his wellbeing, including providing water, shade and leaving windows down so air could circulate.

It beggars belief to think someone would consider it okay to lock an animal up inside a stifling vehicle for any length of time. It is no less a form of mistreatment than starving or beating the beast.

One can only hope that the SPCA takes a tough line on those it has encountered, and people remain vigilant for animals showing signs of distress caused by heat. There can be no excuse sufficient to avoid prosecution.

Feedback: editor@wanganuichronicle.co.nz.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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