Two Met Police dogs die in car - distraught handler in hospital

Two Metropolitan Police dogs - a German Shepherd puppy and a working Belgian Malinois - have died after being left in an unventilated private vehicle.

And their handler who left them in the vehicle, Sgt Ian Craven, 49, is in hospital, after an apparent suicide attempt in Newham, where he was found suffering injuries to his wrists, having jumped from a colleague’s car.

The officer is one of the most experienced dog handlers in the country. And he was left devastated by the deaths.

Sgt Craven had left the dogs locked in his private car as he attended a meeting, not realising how hot it was.

An hour later the alarm was raised by a kennel worker at the police dog training centre in Keston, Bromley, as temperatures rose to 30C.

Officers, who forced their way into the vehicle after being alerted, found both dogs collapsed on Sunday.

They were taken from the dog training centre in south-east London to an emergency vets, where both later died.

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An inquiry into the incident has begun and the Independent Police Complaints Commission has been made aware.

The RSPCA, also investigating the incident, advised people not to leave dogs in vehicles “for any length of time” during hot weather.

An spokeswoman said: “Every year, the RSPCA receives about 6,000 calls from members of the public worried about dogs that have been left in cars during hot weather.

“But this may only be the tip of the iceberg and many cases may be unreported. Even when it is just 22C outside, the heat in a car can rise to 47C within 60 minutes,” she said.

The RSPCA reminded dog owners that leaving a window open or a bowl of water in the car makes little difference.

The spokeswoman added: “All dogs will suffer although some are more prone to heatstroke than others. Those which are old, young, short-nosed, long-haired, overweight, heavily muscled or with certain health conditions are more at risk.”

An internal investigation is now being held into the incident. It is understood Sgt Craven accepted a lift back to the training school after hearing of the tragedy, but jumped from a car while it was in Newham.

A missing person’s alert was issued by police and the distressed officer was eventually found with a hand injury.

He was taken to hospital for treatment and taken by officers to a unit for his own protection.