Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.
A man from Sydney has been charged with aggravated animal cruelty after he allegedly left his dog in a hot car for several hours, resulting in it dying.
On Monday 7 December 2020 – a day when temperatures hit over 30C across areas of Sydney – a Rottweiler cross was spotted by members of the public looking “distressed” inside a car that was parked in the southwest suburb of Padstow.
Police were informed and officers from Bankstown Traffic and Highway Patrol soon arrived at the driveway on Gibson Avenue where the Toyota sedan was located.
The engine of the vehicle was left running, and shortly afterwards, the owner – a 49-year-old man – returned to the vehicle.
He spoke with officers before his five-year-old pet was quickly transported to a local vet.
Sadly, by the time the dog arrived, she was declared deceased.
Following inquiries, the man was charged with committing an act of aggravated cruelty upon an animal, with NSW Police urging in a statement that “it is never okay to leave children, the elderly, or pets unattended in a car – even with the air conditioning running”.
He was also charged with leave vehicle engine on, and not remove ignition key (vehicle unattended).
The man is due to appear at Bankstown Local Court in January 2021.
In NSW, serious animal cruelty is a criminal offence, and against the law. Section 6 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Act 1979 (NSW) prescribes up to 2-years imprisonment or a $22,000 fine, or both for committing an act of aggravated cruelty upon an animal, including dogs. If this law is breached by a corporation, the maximum penalty is up to a $110,000 fine.
An act of cruelty to an animal may include, exposing the animal to excessive heat or cold as a result of your actions or omissions to the animal that unjustifiably, unnecessarily or unreasonably causes it to be exposed to that, or to be exposed to be beaten, killed, mutilated abused, tormented, tortured, terrified or infuriated, overworked, overloaded, over used, or inflicted with pain.
Outrage on Social Media as News of Rottweiler’s Death Reaches Public
As members of the public were informed of the Rottweiler’s death, outrage was quick to spark across social media, with many condemning the man’s ignorance in leaving his pet in the car.
“Why are people still leaving defenceless animals and children in their cars. There is no excuse. Make the penalties that harsh it will deter people from doing it,” one user pleaded in a post shared to Facebook by 9 News Sydney.
“If it’s not kids…it’s pets!!! When will people learn!!??” another person echoed, a sentiment that was again reflected in the comment, “How many animals and children have to die from being left in a hot car is it going to take before people wake up to themselves? Seriously common sense. How would they like to be locked inside a hot car for hours?”.
Many users also expressed sympathy for the dog and the anguish it went through.
“Tired of being politically correct… How stupid/unthinking and inconsiderate are these people… ugh. That poor dog… All that suffering…,” one user declared.
“God the suffering of the dog would have been horrible,” and “RIP to the poor darling dog,” others stated.
For some, the focus was on the man’s charge and a sense of justice.
“Charged… lock him in the car until he dies!!! It’s that simple,” one person wrote.
“He may be charged but likely the court will slap him with a small fine and a ban from owning an animal for a year. He will never face true justice,” commented another.
Animal cruelty is serious social issue, one which people are no longer willing to simply remain quiet about.
According to the RSPCA, in 2016, animal cruelty cases increased to almost 150,000 investigations – an average of more than 400 a day.
Figured released also showed that calls to the RSPCA’s 24-hour cruelty hotline rose by nearly 4% – an average of one call every 27 seconds.
Today, people are more open to sharing animal abuse images on social media and are now also less willing to do nothing about if they think an animal is suffering.
NRMA Reveals Alarming Rise in Incidents Where Kids or Pets Have Been Locked Inside Cars
In the weeks before the incident, the NRMA revealed a worrying increase in occasions where children or pets have been locked inside cars.
In October, 164 calls were made to the NRMA requesting help to rescue children locked inside vehicles in NSW and the ACT.
This represented a 21.5% surge in incidents of this type.
With summer bringing scorching temperatures already, the NRMA is urging parents and pet owners to be careful not to lock their beloved family members in with the car keys.
In the last 12 months, more than 1,500 children and 1,400 animals have been rescued from locked vehicles by NRMA officials, with October proving the busiest month.
Inside a locked car, the air temperature can quickly and significantly increase to levels dangerous for a child or pet.
Speaking about the matter, NRMA Road Safety Expert, Dimitra Vlahomitros, said the organisation is issuing a stern reminder to parents.
“It’s always quite stressful as a parent, especially during a busy Christmas period… juggling shopping… accidents do happen,” she said.
“It’s a timely reminder to always keep your keys on you and the windows down.”