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Man fined after dog suffers in locked car

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A MAN has been fined after causing his 13-year-old dog to suffer with hyperthermia after leaving him in a hot car amid sweltering, dangerous June weather conditions.

John Foster, aged 66, of Merrion Village, Castlemartin, admitted causing his crossbreed dog – Boysie – to suffer after confining the dog to the boot of a hatchback car on 30 June, shortly after 1pm.

He pleaded guilty to an Animal Welfare Act offence at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Monday, November 19.

Dyfed-Powys Police and the RSPCA were alerted after the dog was left alone, and tied-up, in the car, at Haverfordwest’s Tesco superstore. Two windows were open on the vehicle with a gap of approximately an inch.

Witnesses reported distressed behaviour from the dog. Tesco staff made attempts to reach the car owner via PA announcements, but Foster failed to return to the car and Police were subsequently contacted.

By-standers squirted water into the car, with the dog seen licking the liquid from cardboard that was lining the boot. However, the water evaporated quickly due to heat within the car – highlighting the high temperatures the crossbreed was experiencing.

The Police – following discussions with the RSPCA – broke into the vehicle to rescue the dog.

Foster, when eventually returning to the vehicle, accepted no responsibility for the situation but was instead concerned about the damage to his car.

The temperature rose from 23°C to 25°C outside – but had reached 55°C in a neighbouring vehicle, demonstrating how dangerous the situation was for the veteran dog.

Clear, conclusive veterinary evidence highlights that the animal suffered as a consequence of the ordeal. Indeed, the episode caused the dog to have hyperthermia, a condition of having a body temperature greatly above normal.
Foster was given a £295 fine, and ordered to pay £300 in costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

RSPCA inspector Keith Hogben said: “This was a disgusting, and wholly inappropriate way to treat a dog.
“Hot vehicles are potential death-traps for dogs; and poor Boysie suffered unnecessarily and was left with hyperthermia, as a result of this individual’s negligence.

“Boysie had been left tied-up in the back of this car with no means of safe escape. The weather was sweltering – like it was much of this spring and summer – and my vehicle nearby reached temperature of 55 degrees.

“Members of the public at the store were left hugely distressed by the incident, with the dog dangerously overheated. Thankfully, the consequences were not fatal – but could easily have been so.

“This is a serious animal welfare offence – and we want to see prosecutions like this act as a robust deterrent to future offending, which can be so dangerous for dogs, potentially causing them heatstroke and other major complications.”

Dyfed-Powys Police’s Chief Inspector of specialist operations Mike Melly added: “This was a distressing incident, during which two officers had serious concerns for the welfare of the dog, who was trapped inside the car.

“They could not open the windows, and as the dog was in unnecessary distress, a decision was made to smash the car window under Section 18 of the Animal Welfare Act. They then took the dog to a shaded area and gave it water to cool it down.

“We would like to remind pet owners to take extra care of animals in hot weather, and urge them not to leave them in a car for any amount of time – the consequences of the heat could be devastating.

“If you do see a dog trapped in a car, we would always advise you to call the police on 101, or call 999 if it is an emergency and the animal is suffering. If necessary, officers will take action to release any animals suffering in a hot car.”

This July, an RSPCA staff member locked himself in a hot car to experience the dangers dogs face when left in vehicles in warmer conditions. Shocking video footage shows the temperate sky-rocket from 23.3°C to more than 57°C degrees in little over 26 minutes.

Electronic roadside signage in Wales will – during future warm weather spells – soon display messages highlighting the dangers of leaving canine companions in hot cars, following a successful campaign by RSPCA Cymru and Newport West Assembly Member Jayne Bryant.

RSPCA Cymru spent the summer urging members of the public to dial 999 if they see a dog in distress in a hot car. More advice on what to do is available on the RSPCA website.

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Crime Commissioner continues to secure funding for organisations that support victims of domestic and sexual violence

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THE POLICE and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed-Powys Police is again making the offer for organisations that support victims of domestic and sexual abuse to bid for additional funds.

Funding was made available last year, in light of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on organisations supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence.

It was part of a £76 million package of support made available by the UK Government.

Police and Crime Commissioner Dafydd Llywelyn said: “Thanks to this additional funding, we can ensure that victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence in Dyfed-Powys can access specialist services for support, at a time when they are needed the most.

“Unfortunately, we have seen a rise in domestic violence during the pandemic and victims need help now more than ever and I am grateful for the work of all the service providers across the Force area that help these men, women and families who are most in need.

“I want to reassure anyone who is in an abusive situation or relationship that you do not need to suffer in silence, and I urge anyone to report abuse to the Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency.

“This funding is open both to providers whom I currently commission and those that I do not currently fund. However, unlike the extraordinary Covid-19 funding provided in 2020/21, organisations do not need to be a registered charity, a charitable incorporated organisation, or a social enterprise to be eligible for this funding. They must, however, provide support services which have the purpose of helping victims of sexual violence or domestic abuse cope with the impacts of crime and, as far as possible, recover from the harm they have experienced. We would also encourage applications from small specialist organisations that support groups with protected characteristics.

“If you wish to submit a request for this funding, further guidance is available on my website, and can be requested via the office e-mail address.”

Closing date for submissions is close of play on Friday, March 12, 2021.

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Covid alert level lowered for whole of UK

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THE COVID alert level for all four nations of the United Kingdom has been lowered to alert level 4.

The decision comes following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in light of the most recent data.

In recent weeks, the R-rate and the number of covid cases has been on the decline.

Chief Medical Officer for Wales, Dr Frank Atherton said: “Following advice from the Joint Biosecurity Centre and in the light of the most recent data, the four UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director agree that the UK alert level should move from level 5 to level 4 in all four nations.

“The health services across the four nations remain under significant pressure with a high number of patients in hospital, however thanks to the efforts of public we are now seeing numbers consistently declining, and the threat of the NHS and other health services being overwhelmed within 21 days has receded.

“We should be under no illusions – transmission rates, hospital pressures and deaths are still very high. In time, the vaccines will have a major impact and we encourage everyone to get vaccinated when they receive the offer. However for the time being it is really important that we all – vaccinated or not – remain vigilant and continue to follow the guidelines.

“We know how difficult the situation has been and remains to be for healthcare workers, we thank them for their immense effort, skill and professionalism throughout the pandemic.”

Under the Welsh Government’s Alert level 4 restrictions, schools and colleges, places of worship, community centres, playgrounds and public parks are among those that can be opened.

Theatres, entertainment venues, leisure facilities and outdoor visitors attractions are among the places that must remain close while the country is in Alert Level 4.

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Postmaster and politicians welcome Goodwick cash machine U-turn

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GOODWICK post office will now be keeping its ATM, after a U-turn by Post Office Ltd.

The machine was due to be removed within months with the post master, Jon Moverley saying that it would be a disaster for the village.

If the ATM had been removed, there would have been just two 24-hour ATMs serving the whole of Fishguard and Goodwick in the short term and three when the Co-op renovations are completed.

Both politicians and local residents then got behind the campaign to keep the ATM

Pembrokeshire politicians Paul Davies and Stephen Crabb have welcomed the news that Goodwick post office is now set to keep its ATM facility. Following representations made by both politicians to the Post Office, it’s now been confirmed that Goodwick Post Office will be included in the rollout of ATM machines across the post office network.

Mr Davies said “This is really welcome news. I’m pleased that the Post Office has listened to the representations made by the local community and decided to retain the ATM at Goodwick post office. The facility is so important for local people and businesses and it’s great that that’s been recognised and the Post Office has committed to keeping it.”

Following the Post Office’s decision to invest in Goodwick’s ATM rather than remove it, Stephen Crabb MP, who campaigned for the ATM to stay, commented: “It’s great news that the Post Office has overturned its own decision and will be keeping an ATM machine in Goodwick.

“Access to cash continues to be incredibly important for a number of people and businesses and I’m pleased to have played my part in working with John from the Post Office in Goodwick, Paul Davies MS and the wider community to highlight the ATMs importance to the area. It shows what can be achieved when we work together.”

The postmaster described the news as ‘brilliant’. Mr Moverley thanked supporters.

He said “Many thanks to all of you who have used the machine and complained to POL about the removal. We were also supported by our MP, MS and mayor, the National Federation of Sub-postmasters and our Chamber of Trade.

“Everyone did their bit, and it says an enormous amount about the strength of the community.

“We are delighted that locals and so many other people have come together to save this essential facility in the village.”

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