RSPCA South Australia is urging those with responsibility for animals to monitor and safeguard their welfare during the current heatwave.
With temperatures forecast to exceed 40C in many regions, animals are at severe risk of suffering heat-related health issues.
For domestic animals, RSPCA South Australia advises:
- Animals have access to shelter from the sun throughout the day, and be brought into air-conditioned spaces if possible (including rabbits and guinea pigs)
- Multiple sources of water be available to them – add ice cubes if possible
- Avoid transporting them in vehicles
- Do not leave them inside vehicles unattended under any circumstances, even if windows are down and vehicle is parked in shade
- Do not have dogs on the trays of utes or trucks
- Do not walk dogs during the heat of the day (if you cannot hold the back of your hand on the surface for 5 seconds, then it is too hot for your dog’s paws)
RSPCA South Australia is also urging people to help support wildlife through the heat by leaving shallow bowls of fresh, clean water in shady locations.
If using a large container, place a rock in the water so small animals can climb out.
Also fill bird baths and consider having a sprinkler turned on during the heat of the day to enable hot birds to cool down.
Livestock transporters should be aware of national welfare laws governing movement of livestock. Details can be found at www.animalwelfarestandards.net.au/land-transport
Call for help
Anyone noticing animals suffering from extreme heat stress and dehydration is urged to call RSPCA South Australia’s 24-hour hotline on 1300 4 777 22 or Fauna Rescue of SA on 8289 0896.
Fauna Rescue also has a dedicated koala hotline: 1300 562 527.
For emergency situations involving animals in cars, SA Police can also be called on 000.