SGT Craven, from Egham, Surrey, was slated by many national newspapers at the start of the week after 2 police dogs were left un-attended in his car, Belgian Malinois bitch Chay and 4month old German Shepherd pup Tilly both died from heatstroke.
SGT Craven left both dogs in his private vehicle without ventilation or water parked at the Metropolitan Police training unit in Keston while he attended a meeting in Stratford East London on June 26th. It was there at 11am in 30'c heat officers were alerted to the car, and broke into the vehicle to try and rescue the dogs. Chay and Tilly were rushed to an emergency vet but both later died. SGT Carven went missing shortly after the incident on Sunday and was later admitted to hospital after throwing himself from a collogues car, he is apparently now a patient at the psychiatric unit.
In July 2004 a cocker spaniel at the training centre where Ian Craven was attending died from heatstroke but it is unconfirmed who the PC responsible was. He was later made a Sargent and then acting boss of the Metropolitan dog centre in Keston, Kent.
The recent deaths follow those of two German shepherd police dogs, who were left to die in a car in extreme heat outside Nottinghamshire police headquarters in July 2009. The dog handler responsible PC Mark Johnson was handed a six-month conditional discharge after he was found guilty of animal cruelty.
Working dogs often have to be contained in cars and vans in order to attend incidents and do their job but all police vehicles that transport animals are fitted with special features. There are ventilation systems & cooling packs for water bowls as standard and in many even air conditioning to keep the dogs safe and healthy in all weathers - even a heat wave. Private dog owners and private dog handlers (like myself) know that it is irresponsible to leave a dog in the car, particularly in hot weather.
Whilst out working my dog Monty is often travelling in the car but always safely, he has with ventilation, available water and we stop for regualr breaks. I would never do anything to put my faithful K9 partner in un-necessary danger. A spokesperson for The Dogs Trust said "It can take just 20 minutes for a dog to die and temperatures can reach over 40'C in some vehicles." with weather like this in baking sun and a British heat wave with temperatures from 28-31'C its easy to see how an unventilated car can heat up quickly. If you love your dog don't leave him to suffer in a locked car!