South Coast Police have urged the public to be aware it may be an offence to lock pets in vehicles and leave them unattended.
“Police have been called to several cases where dogs have been left unattended in vehicles, in this summer heat, over recent days,” District Inspector Angela Burnell said.
“The temperatures inside a closed vehicle can rapidly increase in these circumstances and animals can sustain serious injury or even death in a short period of time.”
In one recent incident that occurred on Boxing Day, two small dogs were left in a vehicle in an open air carpark in Batemans Bay.
The outside temperature about mid-30 degrees Celsius, with the inside markedly higher.
Police attended and rendered assistance, only to find the owners fishing not far from their parked vehicle.
Under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979, leaving pets in vehicles can be an offence with a $500 penalty or possible charges.
“The financial penalty for this offence should not be the only deterrent, the emotional toil of the death or serious injury of a loved pet should be forefront in pet owners minds when travelling with pets,” Inspector Burnell said.