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A Tesco branch is under fire for reportedly refusing to put a call out to customers who had left their dog locked in a hot car.
Shoppers at a branch in Bideford, North Devon supermarket, claim the German Shepherd was left in the vehicle as temperatures reached 28 degrees outside - which can amount to well over 50 degrees inside of a car in less than 60 minutes.
Witnesses claim the dog was left panting in the unsupervised vehicle for half an hour and they even tried to break the animal out themselves.
And yet apparently staff members refused to make an announcement on the loudspeaker as they 'didn't want to upset the owners'.
When the couple finally returned to the car, the man allegedly became 'aggressive' when confronted by worried bystanders.
Julie Fay posted the pictures to Facebook to raise awareness about the incident, writing: "So it's pretty hot isn't it? Imagine putting a fur coat on and shutting yourself in a car with an inch or air. Sound fun? No not at all but when you are a German shepherd sat waiting for your selfish owners it's less fun.
"Half an hour this poor animal was shut in panting. Two caring people went and showed concern to the supermarket but they said we can't announce it as to upset the customer. No care for the poor dog.
"A caring customer decided to take the dogs welfare into his own hands and try to release him when the owners turned up with nothing but anger and abuse.
"He threatened the man and had no care whatsoever. These people should not be allowed a rat let alone a dog. Do not leave your dog in a car in this heat."
The post has received plenty of responses, many of which shame the store for refusing to alert the owners.
One wrote: "Tesco should be ashamed of themselves to do nothing when an animal is distressed."
Another declared: "Supermarket wouldn't announce it? They should have to by law," to which Julie replied, "No they said straight that they couldn't upset the customer. How awful is that?"
A spokesperson for Tesco has since responded to the incident and apologised for the failure to call the customers.
The spokesperson said: "As a matter of principle our stores put out announcements for the owner to return to their car if dogs are left in vehicles during hot weather.
"We are really sorry that this did not occur on this occasion, and the store manager has spoken to colleagues to remind them of what to do in this situation."
This is just one of many stories to emerge this summer of pets (and even a toddler in once instance) being left in hot cars, despite countless warnings from emergency services that it could end in fatality.
The RSPCA offers clear guidelines of what to do if you spot an animal in a hot car, one of which is: "If you're at a shop, venue or event ask the staff to make an announcement to alert the owner of the situation."
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, leaving your dog in a hot car can be considered a criminal offence.
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