A COUPLE left a German Shepherd dog in their car outside Tesco during the weekend as temperatures inside the car hit around 45C.
The panting dog was left inside the car for half an hour as worried shoppers tried to rescue the pooch and alerted shop staff.
Tesco staff were also slammed for refusing to make an announcement over their public address system to alert the owners.
The man and woman were then confronted and photographed by shoppers outside the supermarket when they returned to their car.
This incident took place at a Tesco store in Bideford, North Devon on Friday, where temperatures were recorded at highs of 28C
Estimates say that when the outside temperature is around 28C the temperature inside a car after just 30 minutes would be more than 45C.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, leaving your dog in a hot car can be considered a criminal offence.
The RSPCA encourages worried passers-by are also to take pictures, phone 999 and even break the animal out as a last resort.
Julie Fay posted to Facebook to raise awareness about what happened writing: “So it’s pretty hot isn’t it? Imagine putting a fur coat on and shutting yourself in a car with an inch or air. Sound fun? No not at all but when you are a German shepherd sat waiting for your selfish owners it’s less fun.
Half an hour this poor animal was shut in panting. Two caring people went and showed concern to the supermarket but they said we can’t announce it as to upset the customer. No care for the poor dog.
“A caring customer decided to take the dogs welfare into his own hands and try to release him when the owners turned up with nothing but anger and abuse.
Other users commented shaming the store for their actions.
One woman wrote: “Tesco should be ashamed of themselves to do nothing when an animal is distressed.
Another said: “Supermarket wouldn’t announce it? They should have to by law.”
Julie replied to this comment saying: “No they said straight that they couldn’t upset the customer. How awful is that?”
Another woman said: “Shame on Tesco for saying they wouldn’t make an announcement.”
Another user commented: “Why couldn’t Tesco just say the owner of a “such and such car with the reg such and such come to customer service desk please”?
“Tesco didn’t have to announce that they are abusing their dog to the shop if that was their problem. Although it’s good to see where Tesco stands on animal abuse in their car parks.”
Many also hit out at the irresponsible dog owners.
One user wrote: “Bloody lock them in a hot car and see how they like it. Bloody disgusting, don’t deserve to keep animals.”
Adam Hotson wrote: “Window would have been smashed out within a second! Boils my p*** seeing this in any weather let along 20+ degrees.”
At the end of June a cockapoo called Bertie was rescued by firefighters after he was left in a car with no windows open and in direct sunlight in a multi-storey car park in Saffron Walden, Essex.
A Tesco spokesman said: “As a matter of principle our stores put out announcements for the owner to return to their car if dogs are left in vehicles during hot weather.
“We are really sorry that this did not occur on this occasion, and the store manager has spoken to colleagues to remind them of what to do in this situation”.