Two pugs 'cooked to death' after owners left them in a scorching tent for eight hours as temperature hit 93F

The two owners were given community orders and banned from keeping animals for five years

                            Two pugs 'cooked to death' after owners left them in a scorching tent for eight hours as temperature hit 93F
(Getty Images)

A court heard the distressing details about two pugs who were "cooked to death" after their owners left them zipped up in a tent for eight hours in temperatures that soared to 93 degrees Fahrenheit.

The horrific deaths happened when Sarah Henniker, 33, and TJ Gregory, 28, both of Clacton, had gone to Martello Bay Holiday Park in Jaywick, Essex, last July, with their pugs Millie and Tito, on a camping trip, according to the Mirror.

The day the pugs died was a particularly hot one with temperatures hitting the 90s, the Colchester Magistrates’ Court was told. Prosecutor Lauren Bond said Henniker and Gregory left their tents, with the pugs inside, at 9 am and only returned after 5 pm, by which point both had died.

She said that, when the pair realized Millie and Tito had died, they wrapped their bodies in a sleeping bag intending to bury them later, but were foiled by security staff who suspected foul play and alerted the authorities.

Bond told the court that the pugs were "cooked to death" and the breed is more vulnerable to heatstroke than other breeds and struggles to cool themselves down properly even when temperatures aren't so high. 

Mark Pearson, defending, said Millie and Tito had belonged to Henniker since they had been puppies and had previously been well cared for. He insisted that they had no intention of harming them but conceded they should have returned to their tents sooner.

Henniker and Gregory both received 18-month community orders with 160 hours of unpaid work each. Both were ordered to pay £390 (USD$508) as well. They were also banned from keeping animals for five years, and Gregory was sentenced to a further 20 rehabilitation days.

Handing down their punishments, District Judge Timothy King said, "One can only imagine the way those animals must have suffered. It is a horrible way for them to lose their lives."

"Dogs are vulnerable to heatstroke," explained an RSPCA spokeswoman. "Their bodies cannot cool like humans', and so heat can become dangerous very quickly."

"We’d always urge people to never leave pets in vehicles, caravans, tents, conservatories or outbuildings in the warm weather," she continued. "Dogs - and other pets - can overheat and die if left in a hot environment. Pets should have constant access to shade, cool areas and lots of freshwater." 

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