Probe after police dogs left to roast in car

LONDON Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:23am BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Police have launched an investigation into how two Metropolitan Police dogs died after they were left locked in an unventilated vehicle in sweltering temperatures outside a training centre in southeast London.

Officers forced their way into the vehicle to find a Belgian Malanois bitch and German Shepherd pup unconscious outside the centre, in Keston, near Bromley on Sunday. Temperatures in the area had reached close to 30 degrees centigrade.

Both dogs were rushed to an emergency vet where they subsequently died. The officer, who according to media reports forgot they were in his car, is said to be devastated by the loss.

A police spokesman said the officer concerned had received medical treatment following the incident. Police could not confirm a report in the Sun newspaper that he had tried to take his own life.

Last year, a Nottinghamshire police officer was prosecuted after two German shepherds died in his car in similar circumstances. PC Mark Johnson was given a six-month conditional discharge and fined.

"Two dogs have died that shouldn't have, the tragic circumstances of which will be fully and thoroughly investigated," Commander Bob Broadhurst said in a statement.

The Met's Directorate of Professional Standards and the RSPCA are investigating the incident, he said. The Independent Police Complaints Commission have also been made aware.

(Reporting by Stefano Ambrogi; Editing by Steve Addison)

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