Peterborough man fined after allowing three dogs to be '˜cooked alive' in hot car for five hours

A Peterborough man has been fined and given a suspended prison sentence after allowing his three dogs to be slowly cooked alive in a hot car for five hours while he trained in the gym.

Wednesday, 28th September 2016, 11:49 am
Updated Wednesday, 5th October 2016, 2:34 pm
Jonathan Theobald outside Peterborough Magistrates' Court - photo courtesy of the BBC

Jonathan Theobald (65) of Lincoln Road left Staffordshire Bull Terrier-type dogs Daisy, Mitch and Rascal inside his vehicle with no water or ventilation.

When he finally returned to his car, he saw two of the dogs were already dead before trying to save the third using CPR after noticing it was showing signs of life.

This morning, Wednesday September 28, Peterborough Magistrates gave Theobold an 18 week prison sentence suspended for two years and banned from keeping any animals for 10 years.

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He was also ordered to pay a £365 fine, £250 in costs, £160 towards the cost of a court report and a victim surcharge of £115.

Prosecutor Charlotte Murray said at a previous hearing: “The dogs would have gone through stages of panic, seizures and made attempts to escape before dying of over-heating of the brain.”

Ms Murray told the court a post-mortem examination revealed all three had perished as a result of hyperthermia.

On the day the dogs were locked inside the car, temperatures outside peaked at 19’c in Peterborough.

PC Peacock of Cambridgeshire police attended the car park of Vivacity Premier Fitness in Hampton on June 16 and was immediately aware that the dogs were dead.

They had been inside the car since 10.29am but were not freed until around 3.30pm, the court heard.

Ms Murray added: “He [Theobald] admitted [to PC Peacock] he had left them in the car for too long and it was a fair cop.”

Theobald pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to three dogs by confining them in an environment which was detrimental to their well-being which lead to their death.

Kevin Warboys, defending Theobald, said: “This is a man with exemplary character. Under the harrowing circumstances he responded as well as he could.

“He told officers ‘I’m the one to blame, I made a terrible mistake’.”

Speaking after the case RSPCA Inspector Justin Stubbs said: “All too often we find people leaving their dogs in cars thinking ‘they will be okay, I will only be five minutes’, even thinking the dogs are happier in the car rather than being home alone.

“This case is a genuine tragic accident, but it will happen again.

“People will think the dog will be okay, but it won’t.”