With pavement temperature rising to more than 65C the new SAFE Hedland manager says the town has a problem with dogs burning their paws. While she is only a few weeks into the new role, Leah Costa has made it her mission to save dogs from severely burning their paws after she realised how serious the issue was in town. As the weather in Hedland starts to heat up, Ms Costa said asphalt temperatures were likely to be in excess of 65C, which can be dangerous for dogs. “You see it nearly every day,” she said. “The asphalt gets so much hotter than people realise. “There was a study in America where they measured the asphalt temperatures and they stopped testing at 35C air temperature and the asphalt was 65C. “In Hedland, we get 46C days, it’s insane how hot the ground might get.” To combat the issue, SAFE Hedland has begun selling dog shoes to pet owners. Ms Costa said she had seen dogs burn their paws so severely in Hedland they are unable to walk. “A lot of people don’t seem to realise the impact of heat (on animals) like putting them in a boat or the car,” she said. “The beach sand is the biggest killer because it retains the heat for so much longer because it’s one of the most dense materials. “It’s almost like putting your hand on a hot plate where you burn all the skin off. They essentially can’t walk.” Ms Costa said if a dog lies down on the pavement, tucks its paws and starts to panic, its paws might be burning. She urged dog owners to test the temperature of pavement with their hands before letting their dogs walk on it. SAFE Hedland has recommended walking dogs early in the morning and in the evening during summer to avoid the heat. Ms Costa was recently announced as SAFE Hedland’s first Branch Liaison Manager, a new position funded by the Town of Port Hedland to help address the number of stray cats and dogs in town.