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Man whose dogs died in hot car appears in tearful RSPCA campaign

Jonathan Theobald admitted causing unnecessary suffering to all three of his pets last year. Credit: PA

A man convicted of leaving his dogs to die in a hot car has appeared in a tearful video as part of an RSPCA campaign to prevent similar deaths.

Jonathan Theobald, 66, said he "misjudged the weather badly" when he left three Staffordshire Bull Terrier crosses in his car for almost five hours while he went to a gym in Peterborough on August 16 last year.

The weather was warm, overcast but not particularly hot, the RSPCA said.

However when he returned to his Volkswagen estate, the dogs - Rascal, Mitch and Daisy - had died.

The advert raises awareness for its annual campaign. Credit: RSPCA

He said: "When I opened the back it was obvious that two dogs were dead and the one dog was floppy and loose.

"That was Daisy. I got all three dogs out of the car and spent, I don't know, I wasn't watching the clock, but probably at least 30 minutes trying to do CPR on Daisy."

With his voice breaking, he added: "She'd have been the last to die and the one to suffer most, and that's painful to think about.

"The weather can change quickly and a car can become lethal, I've discovered that the hard way. If in doubt, leave your dogs at home."

Mr Theobald admitted causing unnecessary suffering to all three of his pets and was given an 18-week prison sentence suspended for two years.

He was also banned from keeping animals for 10 years and ordered to pay £1,900 in fines and costs at a hearing at Peterborough Magistrates' Court last year.

It's staggering to think that more than 7,000 people called us last year due to concerns about animals in the heat and most of these will have been dogs left in cars.

Our message has been loud and clear for years: don't leave dogs alone in parked cars on warm days.

– RSPCA inspector Justin Stubbs
  • For more information on the RSPCA campaign, click here.