A dog walker who left a client’s dog in a hot van for five hours leading to its death has been sentenced after pleading guilty.
Pam Fisher admitted causing unnecessary suffering to a 2-year-old cocker spaniel named Teddy by leaving him a in vehicle on a hot day, causing its death.
At sentencing, she was handed a three-year ban on dealing with and transporting dogs, a 12-month community order, and ordered to pay costs of £400 and a £95 victim surcharge.
She has also been disqualified from dealing with dogs and transporting them for three years.
The court heard that on 11 August last year, Teddy’s owner took him to a vet already deceased, after he had been left in Fisher’s van.
The court was told that Teddy’s owner had received a call from Fisher to inform her that she had forgotten to take the dog home and that she found him dead in her van, explaining that she had dropped off the other dogs in her care but had forgotten that she still had Teddy in her van.
In an interview with an RSPCA inspector, Fisher said that, after a group dog walk, she usually dropped Teddy off first but on this day she dropped two other dogs at home first. She said that the other two dogs were in a crate which covered the view of the crate Teddy was in.
After being made aware by Teddy’s owner that the dog wasn’t at home, the court heard that Fisher checked the van and was “horrified” when she saw Teddy in the crate deceased.
When asked in the interview how she felt, Fisher said she was “devastated” and that evening texted her customers to say she was stopping her business.
Vets state Teddy had died of heatstroke and that his body temperature was 40c.
A vet statement went on to say: “It is my opinion that the likely cause of Teddy’s death was heat stroke. Dogs can develop heat stroke and die within an hour in hot weather.”
Speaking after the sentencing, RSPCA Inspector Claire Mitchell said: “Fisher had confirmed that she’d forgotten to drop Teddy off back at his owner’s and he’d been in the back of the van for five hours. The temperature that day was 30c.
“We hope this tragic case reminds people that the risk to the lives of animals is so high. Our message is simple: never leave a dog in a hot car – ‘not long’ is too long, and if you see a dog in a hot car, call 999 immediately.”