A police dog handler left his two devoted German Shepherds to bake to death in the back of his car when he became distracted by paperwork, a court has heard.
Pc Mark Johnson, 39, was suffering from depression and obsessive compulsive disorder leading to him forgetting his dogs, 18-month-old Jay-Jay and Jet, seven, on June 30 last year.
Paul Taylor, prosecuting the case for the RSPCA, told the trial at Nottingham Magistrates' Court: "Jet and Jay-Jay suffered excruciating pain when their handler Pc Johnson left them in the boot of his private motorcar.
"Pc Johnson's usual routine would have been to have transferred them to a police vehicle which had an air cooling unit but he did not transfer them and went about his business.
"He had some paperwork which needed to be done and by the time he realised what had happened, seven hours had passed and he went out and realised the dogs had died.
"Pc Johnson had always been devoted to animals and his dogs in particular - who would have saved his life or got him out of tricky situations on operations in the past. I can find no evidence that he harboured any malice towards his dogs or that he would have wished to harm them but he made an error which nevertheless had fatal consequences for the animals.
"His failure in this case is an aberration of his normal high standards. However his actions had catastrophic consequences for the two dogs in the car."
The RSPCA alleges Johnson unnecessarily confined his dogs "in an environment that was detrimental to their wellbeing". He denies the charge.
The deaths happened on one of the hottest days of the year, when temperatures reached 29.3C (84.7F). The dogs died from heatstroke during a heatwave.
Mr Taylor told the court that because dogs cannot sweat, the two German Shepherds would have been panting to try to reduce their body heat. This would have left them severely dehydrated. Eventually they would have suffered severe kidney damage and cerebral haemorrhage. The trial is being heard before a district judge and is expected to last for two days.