Cambridgeshire

Jonathan Theobald admits letting three dogs die in car

Jonathan Theobald
Image caption Jonathan Theobald left his pets in the car while he attended a gym, the court heard

A man has admitted he allowed three dogs to die a "long, slow, agonising death" when he left them in a hot car.

Jonathan Theobald, 65, left Staffie-type dogs Daisy, Mitch and Rascal in a vehicle in Peterborough for about five hours on 16 June.

RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs, the investigating officer, said they "may have slowly cooked, essentially".

At Peterborough Magistrates' Court, Theobald admitted causing unnecessary suffering by confining them in the car.

He is expected to be sentenced at a later date.

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The dogs died after being left in a car on Ashbourne Road while Theobald went to a gym.

The court heard that when he returned, two of the dogs were dead. He attempted to resuscitate the third but a vet, who he had called, pronounced it dead.

Image copyright RSPCA
Image caption The RSPCA has been campaigning against leaving animals in vehicles

The weather on the day in question was "overcast, not hot, but warm and humid", Mr Stubbs said.

The temperature ranged from 16-19C (61-66F), but humidity levels were high.

The animals would have suffered a "long, slow, agonising death", the inspector said.

"The dogs would have overheated, they would have had fits. They may have slowly cooked, essentially."

It was, he said, a "tragic accident" but leaving animals in cars for any length of time in such conditions was like "putting your dog through torture".

Speaking before his court appearance, Theobald, who was visibly distressed, said: "I am so sorry. I am appalled by what happened.

"I have shed a lot of tears since then."

"I understand the RSPCA has a job to do and I don't want this to happen again."

Image caption RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs said the dogs would have overheated and had fits before they died

Theobald, of Lincoln Road, Peterborough, was charged under Section 4 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006.

In court he admitted one count of causing unnecessary suffering to the dogs by confining them in an environment which was detrimental to their well-being and led to their death.

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