Police had to smash their way into a man’s car after his dog was spotted “panting heavily” and looking “distressed” after he parked in direct sunlight on one of last summer’s hottest days.
Roy Paterson has been fined after he was convicted of an animal welfare charge over an incident in St Andrews on July 23 last year.
It was 25C at the time, one of the highest temperatures recorded in the Fife area in 2018.
Passers-by called police to a car park in the town’s Argyle Street after they spotted the dog in the back of Paterson’s Volvo estate car as the sun blazed in the car’s front window.
Paterson claimed he had not caused the dog unnecessary suffering as had left the dog a bowl of water, cracked the car’s windows open a few centimetres and parked underneath an overhanging tree.
But police officers told a trial at Dundee Sheriff Court that they found the dog “heavily panting and in distress” when they arrived and had to call in vets from a nearby practice because the animal was acting “aggressively” due to the heat.
A sheriff ruled Paterson had caused the dog unnecessary suffering by leaving it “exposed to excessive temperatures” and found him guilty.
PC Johnathan Gordon, 27, told the court he was one of the first two officers on the scene.
He said: “Members of the public were making comments about the dog – that it was shocking and it was a shame.
“It was agreed to gain entry to the vehicle and we smashed the back nearside window.
“The vet went in to the car to take control of the dog.
“The dog’s collar had a number and my colleague called it and the accused and a male arrived shortly after.
“He was obviously very upset that we had gained entry and said he had done enough for the dog and tried to justify himself by saying the windows had been cracked open and a water bowl had been left.
“He was adamant it was justifiable to do what he had done and stated we should be paying for the damage.”
Sheriff Jillian Martin-Brown fined Paterson £250.