Police have been forced to smash the windows of a van that had been left unattended and locked with a dog inside during the hot weather.
A member of the public alerted Wiltshire Police after seeing the visible distressed dog.
The van had been left in a car park in Gladstone Road, Chippenham, at around 14:30 hours today (16th June). The cocker spaniel was in obvious trouble as the outside temperature rose to nearly 25 degrees Celcius.
When officers arrived on the scene, they noticed that a parking ticket in the window indicated that the dog had been left alone for at least one hour.
PC Chloe Jenkins smashed the window of the van and rescued the dog – almost certainly saving it from a slow and painful death.
The driver of the van returned to his vehicle around 45 minutes after the police had rescued the dog.
PC Jenkins said:
“At approximately 2.30 pm today, the temperature in Chippenham was 22 degrees – when it is this warm outside, temperatures inside a vehicle can reach 47 degrees within the hour.
“This is unbearable heat for a dog, and this dog, in particular, was clearly distressed and in desperate need of a drink of water.
“The owner of the dog was disgruntled with our actions and told us that his dog regularly stays in his van in the heat, and he saw no problem with this.
“There really is no excuse to leave your dogs in cars in this heat – you may not feel particularly hot outside, but cars can heat up extremely quickly. Please do not risk the lives of your pets.
“It is extremely disappointing to be called to incidents of this nature – we are a nation of dog lovers after all so please think carefully about your actions and leave your dog at home when heading out in your vehicle even if you don’t intend on going out for long as plans can change and temperatures can increase dramatically during the day.”
The dog’s owner has been referred to the RSPCA and could receive a hefty fine.
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