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Police handler found guilty of animal cruelty.

Summary: Police dog handler Mark Johnson has been found guilty of animal cruelty after two dogs died under his care.

Police dog handler Mark Johnson, whose two German Shepherds died when they were left in a sweltering car, has been found guilty of animal cruelty at Nottingham Magistrates' Court.

Police constable Mark Johnson, 39, left his two German Shepherd dogs for seven hours on one of the hottest days of the year.

Temperatures on the day in June last reached 29.3C and both dogs died from heatstroke.

According to Paul Taylor who was prosecuting the case for the RSPCA, the dogs "suffered excruciating pain when their handler Pc Johnson left them in the boot of his private motorcar.

"I can find no evidence that he harboured any malice towards his dogs of that he would have wished to harm them but he made an error which nevertheless had fatal consequences for the animals," he continued.

Taylor said that because dogs cannot sweat, the two German Shepherds would have been panting to try to reduce their body heat. This would have left them severely dehydrated, eventually leading to severe kidney damage and brain haemorrhage.

Independent Television News Limited 2010. All rights reserved.

Independent Television News Limited 2009. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Independent Television News Limited (ITN)
Date:Feb 24, 2010
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