A Reading man has been given a suspended prison sentence after he left his two dogs in a hot van, causing one to die.

Sean Lewis, 31, of Beecham Road, Reading, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to his  two Victorian bulldogs at a hearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court on December 10, 2013.

He was sentenced to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 180 hours’ community work, banned from keeping dogs for a year and ordered to pay £250 costs.

Speaking to police, Lewis said he took his dogs to the beach in Poole in August 2013, parking his van under a tree and leaving water with the dogs.

However, he admitted he did not consider how hot it would get inside the vehicle and said he had made a “stupid mistake” leaving the animals.

While one dog, Panda, died due to the extreme heat, the other, Hades, was saved thanks to a group of children who were drawn to Lewis’ van after hearing the dogs in distress.

Following the hearing, RSPCA inspector Patrick Bailey said: “What those dogs went through was horrendous. Thank goodness for the quick thinking of the children.

“Sadly, Panda died while they were trying to save her, but they managed to get Hades out. If it wasn’t for them he could well have died too.”

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