RELIEVED FAMILY: Kelly Frunks and Alex O'Brien were thrilled to have Bear, their 80kg French Mastiff (centre) rescued from under their car in Thulimbah.
RELIEVED FAMILY: Kelly Frunks and Alex O'Brien were thrilled to have Bear, their 80kg French Mastiff (centre) rescued from under their car in Thulimbah. Liana Turner

Pooch bears the brunt of a hot day

IT WASN'T a cat stuck in a tree, but Stanthorpe firefighters have rescued a pet in a tight squeeze.

Thulimbah woman Kelly Frunks said she had been washing Polar, one of her two French mastiffs, when her much larger dog, Bear, disappeared on Wednesday morning.

It wasn't until hours later - after an exhaustive search - she found him trapped in the tight space under her car.

"I was washing Polar and it was Bear's turn to be washed," she said.

"I'm calling Bear and we're looking everywhere.

"I'm looking under the house trying to find him and he was under the car."

As it was a scorching day, she believed her dog had been searching for a shady place to cool down.

But Bear, a large dog weighing some 80kg, squeezed in, and couldn't get out from under the vehicle.

Having frantically searched for her furry friend for an extended time, Ms Frunks tried to help him out at first.

Her concern was heightened by the fact the car was switched on; her daughter's phone charger had broken and they were using the in-car charger.

After switching the car off and trying to coax the pooch out, Ms Frunks called for help. First, she tried friends. Then, she called on the professionals.

Ms Frunks said she was extremely thankful for the work of the firefighters.

"We're so appreciative of what they did for us," she said.

Ms Frunks said Bear was thrilled to be released.

While Bear initially growled at his rescuers, she said he was obliging and happy to be freed.

"He got out, he walked around and had a sniff and walked off like nothing happened," she said.

Stanthorpe Fire Station captain Ian Barnden said this was a unique incident for them. Firefighters raised the car, and enticed Bear out with food.

Mr Barnden said he was surprised such a large dog could fit in the tight space.

"We saw it was a big dog when we got there, but when we got him out, it was quite surprising how big he was," he said.

Bear escaped the ordeal with nothing but a small scratch to show for it.

With more hot days ahead, he encouraged pet owners to ensure their pets are kept safe.

Heat help

With more scorching weather expected, the RSPCA has urged pet owners to keep an eye for signs of heat stress.

  • Dogs don't sweat so they need lots of water and shade.
  • Cats will generally find shade but if inside, put on a fan or wet some towels for them to lie on.
  • Fair-coloured cats and dogs can get burnt.
  • An ice brick wrapped in a towel and placed in huts can provide relief for other small animals.
  • Symptoms to watch for include panting, excessive salivation, enlarging tongue, red gums/lips, increasing heart rate, an anxious or distressed demeanour and staggering.
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