Cafe owner saves hot and panting dog locked in van
A DOG found hot and panting in a locked vehicle was saved by a nearby business owner.
About 3.30pm on Wednesday a parking inspector in Ruthven St noticed the chocolate staffy had been left in the van.
With temperatures outside in the low 30s, the worried inspector tried to find the owner and alerted Crazy Goat Espresso owner Lisa Turnbull who said the vehicle had been there for about 15 minutes.
"I came in and got some water because the gap in the car window was enough for me to put my arm in," she said.
"He was really thirsty and really panting and it was even hot to put your arm in the car.
"That's actually the hottest time of the day right here, that's when my shop gets really awful.
"So basically I just kept coming in and getting water and taking it back out."
Ms Turnbull said four other people had stopped to aid the dog. When the owner failed to return they called the police.
"We were waiting for the police or the owner to show up. He ended up showing up first and he was confused about all the commotion," she said.
A worried Ms Turnbull was left even more shocked by the owner's response who replied that he had not been gone long.
"He had been gone at least half an hour, he had nothing to say, he wasn't apologetic," she said.
"I said to him 'how would you like to be trapped in there' and he just looked at me and said nothing.
"It's just really thoughtless, irresponsible and selfish."
The owner of the dog left before police arrived, but police were given the man's car registration.
Toowoomba police said the vehicle belonged to a business, which was issued a warning for the man's actions.
The actions of the dog owner also shocked RSPCA Queensland spokesperson Michael Beatty who said it could warrant a charge of animal cruelty which carries hefty fines and jail time.
"Technically a dog can die in a hot car in under six minutes depending on how hot it was outside," he said.
"We did an experiment with a normal light colour sedan in 30 degree heat and in 12 minutes it was 57 degrees inside.
"So any animal would have died."
Mr Beatty said dogs most at risk were snub-nosed breeds.
He also warned pets left in the backyard without shade or water were also at high risk.
"I just got into a car today that I left for half an hour and couldn't even sit down," he said.
"Imagine a dog in that situation and the same goes for the back tray on utes without a covering - dogs end up scorching their paws."
If anyone finds a dog or any pet has been left in a hot car they should contact the RSPCA or police.