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UK police officer sued over dog deaths

  • Story Highlights
  • Animal charity to take legal action against police officer who left dogs in hot car
  • Both dogs died after enduring 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) heat
  • RSPCA to sue officer for causing unnecessary suffering to the two animals
  • Police reported incident to RSPCA; said animal welfare of "paramount importance"
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- A British animal welfare charity said Tuesday it is launching legal proceedings against a police officer whose two police dogs died when he left them in a hot car last month.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) said it would sue the officer for causing unnecessary suffering to the two animals.

Police officers in Nottinghamshire, central England, discovered the German Shepherds inside the car in the middle of the afternoon June 30, when temperatures were around 82 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius), police said.

The officer had parked the car outside a police station and gone inside, police said.

Nottinghamshire Police have since suspended the officer and are pursuing an internal inquiry, a representative for the force said Tuesday.

If convicted, the officer faces up to six months in prison and a £20,000 ($32,900) fine, news outlets reported.

It was the police force that first reported the incident to the RSPCA.

In a statement issued at the time, Nottinghamshire Police said they consider the welfare of all of its animals of "paramount importance" and take every measure to ensure their well-being and safety.

"This is a tragic incident and we value the important work our police dogs carry out on a daily basis," Assistant Chief Constable Peter Davies said shortly after the deaths.

"That is why we swiftly reported this incident to the RSPCA and we will be working with them very closely."

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