Three dogs were slowly cooked alive when their owner left them in a hot car for five hours while he trained in the gym, a court heard.
Jonathan Theobald, 65, left staffy-type dogs Daisy, Mitch and Rascal inside his vehicle with no water or ventilation as they desperately tried to claw out.
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.
Prosecutor Charlotte Murray told Peterborough Magistrates Court: “The dogs would have gone through stages of panic, seizures and made attempts to escape before dying of over heating of the brain.
“The police were made aware of the incident…and found three dogs in the car who were hot to the touch.
Ms Murray told court there was no water or ventilation in the vehicle while Theobald was doing “various activities”.
She said a post-mortem examination revealed all three had perished as a result of hypothermia.
PC Peacock of Cambridgeshire Police attended the car park of the Vivacity gym in Peterborough, Cambs., on June 16 and was immediately “aware they (the dogs) were dead.
They had been inside the car since 10.29am but were not freed until around 3.30pm, the court heard.
“He admitted (to PC Peacock) he had left them in the car for too long and it was a fair cop,” Miss Murray added.
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 at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court yesterday (Weds),
Speaking in his defence his solicitor Kevin Warboys said: “This is a man with exemplary character, under the harrowing circumstances he responded as well as he could.”
Mr Warboys told the court that in a joint interview with the RSPCA and the police the following day he made a full admission.
“I’m the one to blame, I made a terrible mistake.”
Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Andrew May adjourned the sentencing until September 28 for the probation service to draw up a pre-sentence report.
Theobald refused to speak to the press as he left court.
Speaking after the case RSPCA Inspector Justin Stubbs said: “All to often we find people leaving their dogs in cars thinking they will be ok, I will only be five minutes, even thinking the dogs 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 ok – it wont.”
He warned that even on days when the temperature appears cool, it can rise.
On the day in question it had rained in the morning and was overcast but Mr Stubbs said: “Just because it is overcast does not mean it is not hot.”
Mr Stubbs added: “The dogs would have overheated they may of have fits, they may have slowly cooked essentially, they would have been terrified, trapped, probably more of a emotional thing rather than a physical for those dogs.”