Three dogs die after owner leaves them in extremely-warm car during gym trip
A dog owner has admitted leaving his three pets, all of which later died, in his car for hours on a warm day while he went to the gym.
Jonathan Theobald pleaded guilty to causing the Staffordshire bull terrier-type dogs unnecessary suffering after being charged under the Animal Welfare Act.
The 65-year-old left Daisy, Mitch and Rascal in the vehicle for a number of hours on June 16, with temperatures peaking at around 19C (66F), the RSPCA said.
Two of the dogs had already died by the time he returned to the car and he tried to save the third, the animal charity said.
"The dogs had been in the car alone for a number of hours," RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs said.
"They will have undoubtedly suffered before they died."
Preliminary post-mortem examinations showed the dogs died of heat exposure, the charity said, as it warned owners that conditions do not need to be overly hot to be fatal for an animal.
Mr Stubbs said: "The weather was warm and it was humid but it wasn't hot that day. Met Office records show it was between 16 and 19C for the period of time these dogs were left.
"No-one leaves their dog to die in a car on purpose. But there is no good reason to even risk it by taking your dog in your car in warm weather and leaving it while you just pop into the shop or just pop into your doctor's appointment. 'Not long' is still too long."
Theobald, of Lincoln Road, Peterborough, appeared at Peterborough Magistrates' Court, where he admitted causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs by confining them in an environment which was detrimental to their well-being and led to their death.
He is due to be sentenced on September 28.