Two dogs died after a man left them in his hot car for more than two hours because neighbours complained about their loud barking.Security dog handler Richard Armstrong, 47, shut them in the boot of his car in London as temperatures hit 24°C. He was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs at Ilford Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday. Hector and Yardie – both Belgian shepherds used for security work – were put in the back of Armstrong’s Vauxhall Astra estate on April 20 with a fan running to try and keep them cool.
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Passers-by saw them suffering and called police, who found one of the dogs dead in his kennel, while the second had collapsed, but was still breathing.Footage from the officers’ body cams showed them rushing female dog Yardie to Ilford Pets at Home 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.RSPCA inspector Kate Ford said there was no evidence of any water in either kennel and Hector was lying on his side with flies around his mouth and a strong smell of urine and faeces.
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In a statement, the vet described Yardie as a ‘heatstroke emergency’ and said she suffered from hypothermia, muscle tremors, an irregular heart rate and a body temperature of 40.3C.
She told the court: ‘The dog appeared to be struggling to breathe. We applied cold towels every 10 to 15 minutes during the procedure. The nurse also sprayed the extremities with cold water to try and bring the temperature down.‘I administered Acepromazine, which I used as a sedative and pain relief. At one moment while we were trying to stabilise her, she began to vomit profusely.
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‘The dog again started to twitch and was still presenting uncontrollable movements on the hind and front limbs.
‘All these symptoms made me think it was all concordant with a neurological dysfunctionality.’Armstrong told police he put the dogs in the car because his neighbours in Plaistow had complained about the noise of their barking.
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.
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