A HELPLESS dog left in the boot of a car on a hot, sunny day has been rescued by police.

The trapped canine was freed from the baking vehicle in Malvern Retail Park by West Mercia Police officers while members of the public provided water to bathe and rehydrate the animal.

Two women, who left the vehicle for 45 minutes after shutting the dog inside, were informally warned at the scene and told that the RSPCA would be involved if it happened again.

But the pair have not been charged, following the incident on Tuesday, June 30, at 12.45pm.

Police were alerted to the car by a concerned member of the public, who believed the Lurcher dog had been inside the “extremely hot” vehicle for at least 25 minutes.

Officers similarly had “grave concerns” for the animal, who was panting heavily, and were able to free it because the vehicle was unlocked.

They took the pooch to a shaded area and gave it water before waiting for the owners, whose behaviour was “completely unacceptable” according to police, returned.

One un-named witness has lambasted the dog owners for their irresponsible actions, writing in a letter posted on Twitter: “I just don’t get why these two women thought it was ok to do that – ever.

“There was the tiny issue of it being the hottest day of the year.

“These people should not be allowed to own animals.”

Police agreed with these sentiments, tweeting from @MalvernCops: “We don't get why they thought it was ok either.”

The incident happened just days before Worcestershire’s dog warden issued a plea to dog owners to be cool not cruel to their pets during this year’s heatwave.

Pip Singleton, of Worcestershire Regulatory Services, fears that people leaving dogs in their cars this summer could lead to a “horrific and painful death”.

She said: “It’s like putting your dog in an oven and turning the temperature up – the suffering is horrendous for them yet despite all the messages being put out social media, we are still getting calls about it.

“Pets have no voice so owners need to be responsible.

“If you are hot then odds on they are too. And you wouldn’t sit in a car in these temperatures, even with the windows open, for more than ten minutes – so why should they?

“Be cool not cruel and have a happy dog – not a hot dog.”