Men plead guilty to animal cruelty after dog nearly died in hot car in Southport

Brothers who left their dog in a car on what was the hottest day of the year, while they were holidaying in Southport, have told a court they “slipped up” after pleading guilty to animal cruelty.

Malcolm and Kenneth Lenton-Smith, of, Duxberry Street, Earby, appeared at Sefton Magistrates Court on the 12th October 2016

The incident caused a crowd of passers-by to congregate around the vehicle, concerned at the plight of the dog, a greyhound, which had been in the car for a number of hours and was visibly distressed and dehydrated.


A member of the public smashed one of the windows in order to give the dog some fluids.

Andrew Page, prosecuting, said: “On the evening of July 19 at 8pm police were called to reports that a dog had been locked in a car for a number of hours and had dehydrated.

“Officer arrived at 8.14pm to a gathering of people standing around a grey dog which appeared to be unwell. It was not moving and was making no effort to get up. Members of the public were attempting to give it water and its breathing was heavy and slow.

“Somebody had already called for an emergency vet and the RSPCA had also been called. A vet from Rufford Vet Group arrived and he said the dog was dehydrated and needed to be put on a drip immediately. He was unsure if the dog would survive.”

dog-dead-southportThe twin brothers were later interviewed by Merseyside police, Mr Page said. They told officers they had booked a three-day stay at the Bold Hotel on Lord Street and had parked their Ford Mondeo in a shaded spot of a car-park at the rear of the hotel after arriving at 3pm

They had left the window of the car partially open, they said, and also left a bowl of water while they went into the hotel for a drink but returned at hourly intervals to check on the 10-year-old dog, called Tara. The men fell asleep after having something to eat, however, after last checking on the dog at 5pm.

Mr Page said that Malcolm, who owned the dog, told the officer, “He would never do anything to harm her and that he ‘loved her very much.’ He was informed that day was the hottest day of the year at 30 degree Celsius. He agreed that he had neglected the dog but he was not aware of how hot it had been.”

Both Malcolm and Kenneth, admitted causing suffering to a protected animal.


The hearing was adjourned until October 19 2016 in order for a pre-sentence report to be compiled. The court heard the dog survived the ordeal but was being treated for kidney problems and was now in foster care.


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