Hackney police awarded for saving dog as temperatures soar
PUBLISHED: 12:36 28 July 2014 | UPDATED: 12:36 28 July 2014
Heroic police officers who smashed a car window to save a dog left inside on the hottest day of the year have received an award from animal rights group PETA.
Hackney’s Brownswood Safer Neighbourhood team won the Hero to Animals Award after Sgt Richard Berns rescued the suffering canine from the locked vehicle on Monday – as temperatures hit 32C.
The officers were called to Kayani Avenue, on Finsbury Park’s Woodberry Down estate, after the dog was seen cowering in the footwell of the car.
Sgt Berns said: “As soon as it became apparent that the whereabouts of the owner was not known, it was an easy choice between doing nothing or helping the animal.
“I smashed a rear window to ensure no glass would go over the dog and Pc Sanbrook unlocked and opened the door. “
Sgt Berns added the dog perked up after it was given water and the owner was found at a nearby address.
He said: “At first they were more concerned about their window but soon realised their error after some education.
“I inspected the animal and found it unharmed and otherwise well looked after.”
Representatives of the RSPCA made a follow-up visit on Tuesday.
PETA associate director Mimi Bekhechi said: “Dogs suffering from heatstroke lose control of their muscles, and their vital organs begin to shut down – a painful and terrifying ordeal.
“The rule is simple: when the weather gets warm, leave the dogs at home.
“Hackney is fortunate to have local heroes, such as Sgt Berns and his colleagues, who take emergency action to protect all residents, whether on two legs or four.”
With weather forecasts predicting temperatures in the high 20s in the next few days, the RSPCA has renewed its appeal for owners to keep their dogs safe.
RSPCA chief vet James Yates said: “A hot car can be a death trap for dogs, it is as simple as that. Leaving your dog in a car, even on an average, warm, even cloudy day can put your pet at huge risk of suffering and even death.
“This is not a new warning, but sadly too many people still don’t appreciate how dangerous it can be to leave a dog in a hot car, conservatory or caravan.
“Don’t let your dog be the one to find out the hard way.”
The temperature inside a car can soar to 47C in merely an hour, even when the outside temperature is 22C.
Opening a window or leaving a bowl of water for your dog makes little difference.
The RSPCA advises calling the police on 999 if you see a dog locked in the car on a warm day.
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