HOT dogs shouldn’t be on the menu when it comes to the Tamworth Country Music Festival but animal lovers say they’re top of the pops for many fans.
While every man and his dog can pull up stumps and do some busking, it’s the walkers who are turning family pets into hot dogs in more ways than one.
Local RSPCA executives have called for dog owners to be a little more sensitive and a lot more considerate about showing their dogs the festival first hand.
They’ve repeated warnings about taking the dog for a walk down the Boulevard of Dreams – because it really is a nightmare for canines in heatwave conditions and could turn into a medical disaster.
They say the festival is no place for a hound dog – unless they don’t have to “walk the walk”.
“The tar is awfully hot to have dogs trotting along on it and we don’t think enough owners appreciate that in Tamworth,” vice-president Marie Fenn said. “If you want to measure whether it’s too hot, then take your shoes and socks off and see how it feels walking down Peel St. If you can’t do it, neither can a dog.”
She said the recent heatwave meant there had been a huge build-up of heat in tarred roads.
The local branch has appealed to dog owners to leave the dog at home – or if you’re visiting, back at camp in the shade.
“And the back of a ute in the hot sun isn’t a good place for a dog either,” Ms Fenn said.
Branch spokeswoman Colleen Bannister said many festival visitors chose to board their animals during the day – then pick them up at night. But some fans didn’t understand how cruel it was to force a dog to do the festival walk – or leave them in cars, even in underground shopping centres.
She said dogs left in cars could die within minutes.