Page last updated at 15:31 GMT, Friday, 3 July 2009 16:31 UK

Flowers left for dead police dogs

dogmemorial
Kevin Guise from the Police Dog and Mounted Section laid flowers at the site

Flowers have been laid at a special memorial site at Nottingham Police Headquarters for two German Shepherd police dogs found dead in a hot car.

The animals were found dead in the private vehicle outside the Nottingham headquarters on Tuesday, one of the hottest days of the year.

Police and members of the public have left tributes at the scene.

An RSPCA investigation has begun and an independent vet will carry out a post-mortem examination.

The force has so far declined to release any further information about the dogs or the vehicle they were in, but says lessons will be learnt.

The Met Office said it reached 28.1C (82.5F) in Nottingham on Tuesday.

Ch Supt Ak Khan said everyone on the force's Dog Section had been devastated by the incident.

'Absolutely devastated'

"We will certainly take any lessons we can get from this process and make sure we put them in place so this sort of thing never happens again," he said.

"There is a sense of shock and sadness at the news of the death of two of our police dogs and we understand the upset that this has caused the public and members of our staff.

"The bond and the love between the trainers, handlers and the dogs is absolutely outstanding. The dog unit and the individual concerned are absolutely devastated by what has happened and we can only imagine what they are going through after losing two of their own."

Earlier, Assistant Chief Constable, Peter Davies, confirmed the RSPCA was helping the force investigate the death of the dogs.

Chief Supt Ak Khan: "This has caused immense sadness"

"This is a tragic incident and we value the important work our police dogs carry out on a daily basis," he said.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission was also informed by the force about the deaths.

"We have decided it is appropriate for this sad incident to be returned to the police force to carry out its own local investigation," it said in a statement.

An RSPCA spokesman said the force reported the incident to them on Tuesday and was "co-operating" with the charity in the investigation.

Public appeal

"I am sure this isn't the first incident and it won't be the last," he added.

Nottinghamshire Police Authority chairman John Clarke said: "I am deeply disturbed to learn of the deaths of these police dogs, which play such a vital role in the fight against crime.

"We are requiring a guarantee from the force that measures are being put in place immediately to ensure that an incident like this can never happen again."

In June last year the Nottinghamshire force made a public appeal for German shepherd dogs to be donated to increase the number of working dogs in the force.

Training a police dog to the standard where it can go out with an officer on patrol costs an estimated £7,000 and involves a nine-week intensive course.

The maximum sentence for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal is six months in prison and a £20,000 fine.

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The dogs would have been in distress as the temperatures climbed, vet Andrew Wilson said



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