Dog locked in hot car for three hours while owner drank in pub rescued by police

A dog who was left panting in a car for three hours during the Bank Holiday heatwave while its owners drank in the pub has been freed by police.

The pooch, which appears to be a small terrier breed, was found “gasping for air” by officers who were called to the scene in a car park in Southend, Essex.

Essex Police were forced to smash open the window of the vehicle to rescue the distressed animal on Saturday, when temperatures in the area soared to 20C.

A car becomes incredibly hot very quickly in warm weather and with highs of 20C outside can reach an unbearable 43.8C within the hour.

The owner of the dog drove away from the scene later and was subsequently arrested for drink driving.

Other services called to the scene included Southend BID and Southend Borough Council, who worked together to free the dog and track down the driver.

Safer Southend said on Twitter : “Good work with Essex Police Southend, Southend BID and Southend Borough Council.

“A dog was locked in a car for over 3 hours in this heat, owners were in a pub, window smashed as the dog was gasping for breath – now safe. Later, the owner drove away and shortly after was arrested for drink driving”.

The RPSCA advises anyone who sees a dog in a car on a warm day to dial 999. The police will inform the RSPCA if animal welfare assistance is required.

In an emergency, RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough, and with no powers of entry, police assistance is required at such an incident, they say.