A STAGGERING number of people continued to leave their pets locked in cars in the lead up to summer.
The RSPCA responded to 95 cases in October alone, a five per cent increase in numbers across Queensland from from previous year.
With temperatures expected to soar, here's a reminder of the facts no one should ever forget.
It can only take six minutes for an animal to die in a locked car.
The car doesn't have to be black with leather seats and cracking the windows won't help.
The RSPCA responded to 28 cases of dogs being left in cars on the Sunshine Coast last summer. There were 364 cases state wide.
Some have led to criminal prosecution.
In November, Maroochydore's Benjamin Gregory Vignes, 25, partner's dog, Theo, was found dead in the back of his car.
He pleaded guilty in January and received a $2000 fine.
Pet Insurance Australia spokeswoman Nadia Crighton said the figures showed the number of claims for heat stroke were on the increase.
"In 2012 we had a total of 21 claims for heatstroke, in 2016 (to date), we have had a total of 159 claims," Ms Crighton says.
"Understandably this is not all dogs in hot cars, however we can clearly see an increase from year to year."
Ms Crichton said studies concluded even with windows cracked, the internal temperature of a car would rise at the same rate as with the windows closed.
There has been a call in America to make people who break windows to rescue a dog in a car not liable for the costs of the damage.
The RSPCA spokeswoman said the best advice was to call police first before taking any action if the dog appeared in severe heat distress.
"If not, call the animal hotline on 1300 animal and they will help you work through the situation as it is occurring.
Symptoms of heat stroke:
Increased heart rate
Bright red tongue
Red or pale gums
Thick, sticky saliva
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