Dogs ‘left in car for five hours’

Owner was in gym while pets died slowly of hy­per­ther­mia

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By news re­porter news@peter­bor­oughto­ Twit­ter: @Peter­bor­oughTel

Three dogs were slowly cooked alive when their owner left them in a hot car for five hours while he trained in the gym, a court heard.

Jonathan Theobald (65) ofLin­coln Road left Stafford­shire Bull Ter­rier-type dogs Daisy, Mitch and Ras­cal in­side his ve­hi­cle with no wa­ter or ven­ti­la­tion.

When he fi­nally re­turned to his car, he saw two of the dogs were al­ready dead be­fore try­ing to save the third us­ing CPR af­ter notic­ing it was show­ing signs of life.

Prose­cu­tor Char­lotte Mur­ray told Peter­bor­ough Mag­is­trates’ Court yes­ter­day :“The dogs would have gone through stages of panic, seizures and made at­tempts to es­cape be­fore dy­ing of over-heat­ing of the brain.”

Ms Mur­ray told the court a post-mortem ex­am­i­na­tion re­vealed all three had per­ished as a re­sult of hy­per­ther­mia.

On the day the dogs were locked in­side the car, tem­per­a­tures out­side peake­dat19cin Peter­bor­ough.

PC Pea­cock of Cam­bridgeshire po­lice at­tended the car park at Vi­vac­ity Premier Fit­ness in Hamp­ton on June 16 and was im­me­di­ately aware that the dogs were dead.

They had been in­side the car since 10.29 am but were not freed un­til around 3.30 pm, the court heard.

Ms Mur­ray added: “He [Theobald] ad­mit­ted [to PC Pea­cock] he had left them in the car for too long and it was a fair cop.”

Theobald pleaded guilty to caus­ing un­nec­es­sary suf­fer­ing to three dogs by con­fin­ing them in an en­vi­ron­ment which was detri­men­tal to their well-be­ing which lead to their death.

Kevin War­boys, de­fend­ing Theobald, said: “This is a man with ex­em­plary char­ac­ter. Un­der the har­row­ing cir­cum­stances he re­sponded as well as he could.

“He told of­fi­cers ‘I’m the one to blame, I made a ter­ri­ble mis­take’.”

Chair­man of the mag­is­trates’ bench An­drew May ad­journed the sen­tenc­ing un­til Septem­ber 28 for the pro­ba­tion ser­vice to draw up a pre­sen­tence re­port.

Speak­ing af­ter the case RSPCA In­spec­tor Justin Stubbs said: “All too of­ten we find peo­ple leav­ing their dogs in cars think­ing ‘they will be okay, I will only be five min­utes’, even think­ing the dogs are hap­pier in the car rather than be­ing home alone.

“This case is a gen­uine tragic ac­ci­dent, but it will hap­pen again.

“Peo­ple will think the dog will be okay, but it won’t.”

Jonathan Theobald out­side Peter­bor­ough Mag­is­trates’ Court - photo cour­tesy of the BBC

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