Man who left dog in van on 29-degree summer day is sentenced

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A man who left a young dog called Nero to suffer in a van on a day when temperatures hit 29 degrees has been sentenced.

Police officers were called to the van, which had been parked unattended at The Gatehouse public car park in Chichester Gate from at least 9am until 1.10pm on Tuesday, June 20 last year, police say.

Rachid Serroukh, 39, from Kent was charged with failing to prevent the causing of unnecessary suffering to Nero and was ordered to carry out unpaid work and pay a £300 fine.

PC Martin George of the Chichester investigations team said: “This dog is lucky to be alive and it is a sharp reminder to all drivers not to leave your dog in a hot car.

“We worked closely with the RSPCA and we are happy the dog has made a full recovery.”

Nero, a young Dutch Herder dog, was rescued after a passerby noticed that the van was shaking.

Officers found the dog inside in a major state of distressed, police say.

As officers arrived the owner, who runs a security patrol company, returned to the vehicle.

The dog was taken straight to the local vet, seized from the owner and placed into the care of the RSPCA.

According to historical weather data on, temperatures in Chichester on the day peaked at a staggering 29 degrees.

Serroukh, from Littlebourne, near Canterbury, was found guilty at Worthing Magistrates’ Court and was sentenced on January 10 to 70 hours of unpaid work and payment of a £300 fine.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “Throughout last summer the RSPCA received thousands of calls across the country regarding the concern of dogs being put in perilously dangerous situations by being left in hot cars.

“The RSPCA and other charities and organisations, joined forces to raise awareness amongst the general public that it is never acceptable to leave a dog in a hot car as part of its annual Dogs Die in Hot Cars campaign.

“There are still too many instances where animals are being left in sweltering cars, caravans and conservatories and tragically some of them have deadly consequences.

“We would also like to remind people that in an emergency call 999 to report a dog in the hot car to the police, because as a charity, the RSPCA may not be able to attend quickly enough, and, with no powers of entry, we need police assistance at such an incident.”