Published: 20:29, 06 June 2021
| Updated: 16:08, 07 June 2021
Police had to rescue a dog reportedly left in a hot car for three hours on one of the warmest days of the year.
Officers from the Canterbury team tweeted to say they were called to a car park in Whitstable this afternoon, as the mercury reached 21°C .
It is not clear whether or not they had to force entry to get to the animal.
But in a photo shared by the force, one window of the car had been covered with supermarket carrier bags.
The police tweeted: "Patrols attended to a report of a dog being left in car today in Whitstable for three hours.
"We will force entry to ensure your dog’s safety.
"Happy to report the dog was rescued and is now safe and well."
It comes as animal charities including the RSPCA and PDSA reissue warnings of the dangers of leaving dogs in hot cars this summer.
A PDSA spokesman said: "Even parked in the shade with the windows open, a car can quickly become an oven.
"When it’s 22°C outside, within an hour the temperature in a car can reach an unbearable and deadly 47°C. If your dog’s internal body temperature exceeds 41°C, it can be fatal.
"Think how frightening that must be, with no way of escape."
People are urged to call the police, not the RSPCA, if they see an animal in danger in a car, as officers have the power to force entry and swift action is often needed if a dog is displaying symptoms of heatstroke.
The force deals with hundreds of such incidents nationwide each year.
'Even parked in the shade with the windows open, a car can quickly become an oven'
In certain emergency circumstances members of the public have a lawful excuse to break into a car to free a dog, although, without sufficient evidence, this risks constituting criminal damage.
Last year a concerned shopper smashed the window of a car after a dog was reportedly left sweltering inside for more than 30 minutes at Prospect Retail Park, also in Whitstable.
The owner left the scene before officers arrived.