DOG owners are being urged not to leave their four legged friends in cars.

The warning came from PC Melanie Smith on Monday morning.

She said: "With the warmer weather approaching, we are concerned that dogs may suffer un-necessarily by being left in vehicles.  

"Leaving windows open does not reduce the harm caused to the pet.

"If attending reports of a dog being left in a car and believe it to be suffering, then we have the power to gain entry - by whatever means - to the vehicle in order to save the dog from death by overheating.

"A few facts to consider, when taking your dog out on a hot day and leaving in a vehicle, even for just a short time, are: never leave your dog alone in a vehicle.

"If it is 22 degrees outside, inside a car it can get to 47 degrees within 60 minutes.

"In hot stuffy vehicles, dogs cannot cool themselves down, even with the windows open.

"Heatstroke is likely to be fatal to dogs.

"If you see a dog in a car on a warm day, call 999."