Leaving a child or dog unattended in a closed car during summer is not only dangerous, it’s deadly. As the days get hot and balmy, many pet owners take their pets on car trips to escape the heat but then leave them unattended and locked in the car while briefly going to the shops or for a swim in the ocean.

Brooke Whitney from the Animal Welfare League of Queensland said it takes just a short amount of time before the heat in cars turn deadly. “When you leave the windows up in the car during a summer’s day, the temperature in the car’s interior can double in less than 15 minutes.”

Distressing and deadly temperatures for dogs start at 53 degrees, with car temperatures reaching up to 73 degrees.

“Opening the car and sitting inside when you come back is unpleasant enough, but leaving your dog trapped in there is not only irresponsible but illegal.”

Even dogs sitting in utility trays out in the open air can become victims of extreme dehydration.

“For ute’s the surface can become extremely hot and scolding under their feet and while we don’t endorse owners leaving their pets unattended, we encourage owners to park in the shade, secure their animal with an appropriate travel harness and leave them with plenty of water.”

Under the Animal Care and Protection Act, leaving your animal without appropriate water and shelter is an offence.

 “Even leaving your car windows down will not prevent the car from reaching high and distressing temperatures,” Ms Whiney explained.

“If you see an animal in a car during a hot day in distress contact the police who will give you further advice on how to help the animal.”