This is the dramatic moment a police officer smashed his way into a locked car to rescue a dog on the hottest day of the year.
The uniformed cop used a small hammer to break one of the car’s windows in a desperate attempt to save the panting pooch.
He described how the intense heat “hit him in the face” after he shattered the glass in the back door of the Mazda 5 estate as temperatures reached 30c.
The parking ticket displayed on the dashboard suggested the terrier was trapped for over an hour.
She struggled to walk after being freed from the vehicle, but when the driver returned to his vehicle, he claimed she was only weak due to having Alzheimer’s.
In footage recorded of the incident, the middle-aged man, who has not been identified, tells the police officer: “She’s got Alzheimer’s, it’s nothing to do with her being over hot.
“She’s a very, very, very fragile dog.”
Defending himself for leaving the dog for so long, the man says: “I’m very conscious of looking after my dog but I was in there longer than I expected to be.
“I’m a bit surprised it’s as hot as that in here.”
The incident was filmed at the Guineas Shopping Centre in Newmarket, Suffolk, at 2.45pm on Wednesday, the last day of a heatwave that hit the country this week.
Temperatures outside soared to 30c and the dog had no water inside the car.
Mick Smith, founder of Newmarket’s Neighbourhood Watch team, said: “I was in the council offices when someone came in panicking because there was a dog locked in a car with no windows open.
“The heat was unbearable out in the open anyway.
“So I rushed to help the people that were there and was going to smash the window myself as the dog was unsteady on its feet and gasping for air.
“The police did arrive very quickly and were very quick to take action when they saw the dog.
“I want to thank them for their prompt and decisive actions.”
Suffolk Police are investigating the incident.
A spokeswoman for the force said: “We received a call from a member of the public saying there was a vehicle parked at the ground floor level of the multi-storey car park with a small dog on its own inside.
“All the windows were completely shut, the vehicle was locked and there was no water inside for it, so temperatures were getting close to 30 degrees.
“The dog had been in the car for some time and its appearance caused members of the public to be distressed, so we did a number of checks to see if we could find the owner.
“And we smashed a single window to get the dog out of the car.”
The RSPCA revealed they received 724 calls in just five days this week from people concerned about dogs suffering in the heat.
Lisa Richards, dog welfare expert for the charity, said: “Dogs die in hot cars and it’s never okay to leave dogs alone in parked cars on warm days.
“But it’s important to realise that it is not just cars which pose a risk to animals when the temperature soars.
“While we know our hard-hitting message is starting to get through, lessons are still not being learned.”