Police were forced to smash the window of a car with a dog trapped inside on what is forecast to be the hottest day of the year so far.
Infuriated officers warned others not to take their dogs outside after rescuing the pet in 31.5C heat in north west London this morning.
Barnet MPS tweeted: “Unbelievably, our officers have just had to smash the window of a vehicle to get a dog out at the RAF museum Hendon. 31.5 degrees! JUST DON’T TAKE DOGS OUT IN THIS HEAT.”
The rescue comes just four days after police in the south west of the capital freed two muzzled dogs left in a hot car for over an hour with the window open by less than an inch.
Kew Police wrote on social media: “Unbelievable end to the shift.
“Leave your dogs in a hot car, less than an inch of gap, no water, muzzled, for over an hour and you better know we are going to be smashing that window.
“Absolutely heartbreaking. Thankfully dogs now fine. Owner to be interviewed under caution.”
Temperatures are set to soar into the high 30s in some areas today, while tomorrow is predicted to be even hotter, with the mercury possibly tipping 40C.
That would be a new record for the UK, beating the 38.7C seen in Cambridge in 2019.
The rise in temperatures has forced the UK Health Security Agency to issue a level 4 heat-health alert – described as an “emergency” – while the Met Office has issued the UK’s first red extreme heat warning for a large part of England until the end of Tuesday.
Amid the potentially record-breaking temperatures, the RSPCA is warning pet owners not to leave their animals in cars, conservatories, outbuildings or caravans, even for a short while.
If it is just 22C outside, temperatures can quickly rise to 47C in these environments.
The RSPCA advises anyone who sees a dog in a hot car to firstly assess the animal’s condition, and to dial 999 immediately if it is showing any signs of heatstroke.
The charity says: “If the dog’s condition is critical, and the police haven’t arrived yet, your instinct will be to break into the car to free them. But please be aware that this could be classed as criminal damage.
“You may need to defend your actions in court, so please be sure you’re doing the right thing. Legally, you can commit damage if you believe the car owner would consent to it if they knew the dog was in danger.”
If you are sure you need to save the dog, then you should tell police what you intend to do and why. People are also urged to take photos and videos of the dog, alongside taking the contact details of any witnesses nearby.
Dog owners are also being advised against walking their pets in the hot weather, as they are less able to cope than humans in the heat.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home suggests a gentle walk very early or late in the evening, when the temperature has significantly reduced.
It can also painful for dogs to walk on surfaces that heat up in the sun, and they can even sustain burns in extreme conditions.
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home say if it feels too hot for you to touch, then chances are your pet is thinking the same.