A man who left two dogs to die in a car on a hot summer’s day has been spared jail.Richard Armstrong, 47, said he left the security dogs in the boot of his Vauxhall Astra because neighbours had complained about them barking. Temperatures were reaching 24C when people noticed the dogs in a kennel inside the vehicle in Ilford, east London , and alerted the police.
Warning: This article contains pictures and footage you may find distressing
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Officers found one of the dogs already dead in the boot, while the second had collapsed but was still breathing.Armstrong said he kept a fan running in the car to try and cool down Hector and Yardie, both Belgian Malinois used for security work, but there was no evidence of any water bowl. Hector was found lying on his side, with flies around his mouth and a strong smell of urine and faeces. Yardie was rushed to a vet for emergency surgery but she later had to be put down.
The RSPCA said the kennel was just about large enough for one dog to stand, but there was no room for them to move around. Footage showed Armstrong trying to explain to officers about his neighbours’ complaints and the fan in his car. RSPCA inspector Kate Ford was called to the scene on April 20, 2019, and launched an investigation.
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She said: ‘[Armstrong] said that he’d left the boot door open but that the dogs tended to “jump up and down when they heard any noise” and that this must have caused the boot to close, leaving the dogs shut inside in the heat.
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‘He also thought the fan must have stopped.’At Ilford Magistrates’ Court, Armstrong was found guilty of one count of causing unnecessary suffering to two dogs.
He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 120 hours of unpaid work, and ordered to pay a total of £840.
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