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WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS CONTENT WHICH SOME READERS MAY FIND DISTRESSING
A security worker has been given a community order and 120 hours unpaid work after he left two dogs in the boot of his car for more than two hours because neighbours complained about their barking. Both dogs later died.
Richard Armstrong, 47, left the two Belgian Malinois that he used for work in his Vauxhall Astra estate on a hot April day in 2019 when temperatures hit around 24°C.
Passers-by saw the animals in the back of the vehicle in Ilford, east London, and called police who found one of the dogs dead while the second was collapsed but still breathing.
The dogs, called Hector and Yardie, were kept in the back of the car with a fan running to try and keep them cool.
According to the RSPCA, the kennel in Armstrong's boot was just about large enough for one dog to stand, but there was not room to turn or move around.
There was no evidence of any water and Hector was found laying on his side with flies around his mouth with a strong smell of urine and faeces.
Female dog, Yardie, was rushed to a vets' for emergency surgery at the Ilford Pets at Home, but she later had to be put down.
Armstrong explaining to officers that the dogs had been in the back of his car in their crates with the boot door open and a fan running.
The self-employed security dog handler said he had complaints at home about their barking so left them in the car instead.
At Ilford Magistrates' Court on Wednesday (August 11), Armstrong was found guilty of one count of causing unnecessary suffering to his two dogs by leaving them in a hot car following a trial.
He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay costs of £750 and a victim surcharge of £90.
Footage from the police officers' body-worn cameras showed them rushing Yardie to the vets with blue lights and sirens on, pouring water on her body to try to cool her and carrying her into the surgery.
Vets gave her oxygen and fluids and desperately tried to save her.
In her statement, the vet described Yardie as a 'heatstroke emergency'.
She said the dog suffered from hyperthermia, muscle tremors, an irregular heart rate and a body temperature of 40.3°C.
Vets felt she would not recover and sought permission from Armstrong to put Yardie to sleep.
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