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Police called to investigate parked car and make horrifying discovery

Parked cars dog-angry
© Arcaion - Pixabay

As temperatures soar, it becomes a race against time for Essex Police to get a parked car unlocked and avoid what could quickly turn into a horrific tragedy.

By Zoë Monk

Published on the 02/06/2021, 20:00

The incident happened on a hot Saturday in Southend. As temperatures rose above 20°C, passersby became concerned about a car they'd seen parked up for several hours.

Shoppers became so concerned they reported the car to the police. But it wasn't because the vehicle was suspicious or didn't have a parking ticket. It was because of what was inside it.


Reports to police

When Essex Police arrived, they immediately saw what was concerning shoppers. Inside the vehicle was a Terrier breed dog, gasping for air. The poor pup had been in the boiling hot vehicle for at least three hours and was struggling to breathe.

Before officers located the dog's owner, their priority was to get the pup out into fresh air. Cars can become as hot as an oven incredibly quickly. When temperatures are 22°C outside, the temperature inside a car can reach 47°C in less than an hour. Not surprisingly, temperatures like this can be very dangerous for any animal locked inside and lead to heatstroke.

With the help of Southend Community Safety Partnership, Southend BID and Southend Borough Council, Essex Police got the poor dog out to safety by smashing one of the car's windows. 

While all this was going on, the dog's owner was enjoying a drink at a nearby local pub, unaware of what was going on. Shortly afterwards, the owner of the dog appeared and drove away only to be arrested for drink driving.

What should you do if you see a dog in a hot car 

If you spot a dog in a car on a hot day, the RSPCA recommend that you call 999. The police will notify the RSPCA if animal welfare help is needed. If the RSPCA cannot attend quickly enough in an emergency, the police will take the necessary action. Remember, dogs die in hot cars.

Temperatures in hot cars can rise very quickly ©Wamiz

If you decide to break into the car to get the dog out, this is technically criminal damage and a criminal offence. If you decide to take such action, make sure you tell the police what you plan to do. It's a good idea to film the incident and note any witnesses' names and contact details.

We’ll never say it enough: Pets die in hot cars! Never leave your pet in a car on a hot day. If it's hot and you have things to do, leave your pet at home! If you see an animal in distress in a hot car, call 999 immediately. Unlike animal rescue services, police have powers to break into the vehicle if they believe the animal is at risk.