WITH the Met Office issuing its first ever 'extreme' heat warning this week, Shropshire residents have been advised on what to do if they encounter a dog trapped in a hot car.

Many people believe that it is ok to leave a dog in a car on a warm day if the windows are left open or they are parked in the shade, but the RSPCA says this situation is still dangerous for dogs.

West Mercia Police has advised that anyone who encounters this situation should contact them first, before taking action themselves.

A spokesman for the force said: "With temperatures set to reach 30°C plus this week, please be sensible when it comes to taking your dog out.

"Missing a walk, or taking a later one, has never killed a dog but heatstroke can quickly become fatal.

"If you spot a dog in distress inside a hot car always dial 999.

"We do not recommend forcing entry into a vehicle.

"If the situation becomes critical and you feel that this is the only option then please speak to one of our call handlers about what you intend to do and why.

"Take photos/videos and gather as much evidence as you can."

For more information, visit rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/health/dogsinhotcars