Hospital carparks are no place for pets

Pet ownership is known to have great health benefits and our Pet Therapy Visiting program has been running at Castlemaine Health for many years.

In that time, we’ve welcomed many volunteers and their well-behaved dogs into our wards and aged care homes to help build a better health experience for our patients and residents. Each pet visit brings comfort, entertainment, distraction and solace. The benefits of their company are well-established.

While pets have a firm place with our staff, residents and patients inside Castlemaine Health, our carpark is a very different story.

With recent temperatures soaring into the high 30s and low 40s, it’s not just people who are at risk of heat stress. Pets left in hot cars are at risk too. Brief hospital appointments may not feel brief to a dog left in a car on a hot day. The temperature inside a car is always much hotter than it is outside and opening a window can make little difference to the internal air temperature.

Any dog exposed to hot conditions without water or shade can become heat stressed or collapse with heat stroke very quickly. Heat stroke is a medical emergency that requires immediate veterinary treatment to safely reduce body temperature and provide supportive intravenous therapy.

In line with RSPCA recommendations, Castlemaine Health is obliged to ring 000 immediately and report any pets left in cars or on ute trays to the Police. The Police are equipped to dispatch officers quickly, which is critical under these circumstances.

At Castlemaine Health, we love pets. But if you’re planning a visit or have an appointment with us, please keep your pets at home.

With thanks to Castlemaine Veterinary Clinic.

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