A dog owner who repeatedly ignored warnings about locking his Staffordshire Bull Terrier in a hot car has walked free from court – despite the pet dying in his vehicle from severe heatstroke.
Ian Czajkowskyj, 57, was drinking in the pub near Manchester when police found his seven-year-old dog Carlo dead and covered in blood in the back of his Fiat 500 in June.
It was said to have suffered an agonising death that could have lasted up to nine hours in temperatures of 35C (95F).
His owner had ignored two previous warnings over the dangers of locking dogs in hot cars.
Czajkowskyj, of Elgin Street, Ashton-under-Lyne, admitted causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and was given a 12-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months at Tameside Magistrates' Court, Manchester Evening News reported on Thursday (16 November).
He was also banned from keeping animals for life and made to pay £300 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
Mark Harper, prosecuting, reportedly told the court: "It is likely that Carlo was subjected to monumental suffering for a minimum of one hour, but for a maximum period of nine hours.
"This was a clear case of the owner placing his own needs before those of the animal, especially because he had been warned before."
The court heard how the first warning came in April when an RSPCA inspector said they found Carlo locked in the offender's car. They left an animal welfare warning notice on his windscreen.
Police were then called to the same car the following month in a car park where members of the public managed to open the door and release a "hot and bothered" Carlo. Czajkowskyj had been drinking in a nearby pub and was given a police warning on his return.
But the warnings went unheeded and at around 10pm on 19 June Carlo was found dead in the car in Moss Street East, Ashton.
"Temperatures that day were very high, up to 35.2C and with an average of 28C," Harper said.
"There was a two-to-three-inch gap in the window. The dog was slumped in the back seat and there was a lot of blood. It appeared the dog had been dead for some time because rigor mortis had set in and there was a strong smell. Both the animal and the car were warm.
"Officers said there was saliva on the window."
Carlo had died of massive blood clotting brought on by severe heatstroke.
On his return to his car, Czajkowskyj claimed he had only left Carlo in the car for just over an hour, having parked it at 4.30pm before going shopping and visiting the pub.
In police interview he said he suffered from memory loss due to medication he took for a heart condition.
Czajkowskyj's lawyer, Sonya O'Brien, said: "He is embarrassed and ashamed and regrets his actions every single day. He has suffered two heart attacks and a mini-stroke, which he says has caused him memory loss.
"But he accepts he should not have locked the dog in the car knowing he suffered from this condition. He is also the registered carer for his 83-year-old mother, who lives with him and would otherwise be in care."