Police launch investigation over death of newlywed's dog left in hot van at kennels

The couple on their wedding day, holding Luna the pug.

Luna the pug attended the wedding of her owners, Ben Hill and Ffion James, on Friday. - Credit: Ffion James / Ben Hill

A police investigation has been launched after a newlywed couple's dog died on their wedding day, having been left 'forgotten' in a van for two hours at a kennels during the heatwave.

Luna the pug attended the wedding of her owners, Ben Hill and Ffion James, on Friday.

Following the ceremony, she was returned to Country Boarding for Cats and Dogs - off the A505 between Baldock and Royston -  where she was left in the back of a van for two hours and died.

On Saturday, Ffion wrote in a Facebook post: "Yesterday was one of the best and most amazing days of our lives.

"Unfortunately, this morning is a completely different story.

"We woke up this morning to find out our beautiful little Puggy had died.

"She was in the care of a well-known local kennels and was horrifyingly left in the van and forgotten about. She was found a few hours later, but it was already too late.

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"The weather would have made the van unbearably hot, and I can’t imagine the suffering she must have gone through."

Following the incident, investigations have been launched by both Herts police and the RSPCA.

A police spokesperson said: "Police have launched an investigation following a report that a dog sadly died whilst in the care of a boarding kennels in North Hertfordshire on Friday, July 8.

"Our thoughts are with the dog’s owners at this sad time and extensive enquiries are being carried out into the circumstances of what happened."

The RSPCA added: "This is just heartbreaking and our thoughts are with Luna’s family.

“We are investigating the circumstances of Luna’s sad death and will be working closely with other agencies, like the local authority which licence animal establishments.

“Please do not call us about this unless you have first-hand information about the incident which could aid an investigation, as it could stop emergency calls about animals in need getting through to us.”

In a statement posted to the kennel's Facebook page - which has since been deleted - owner Renate Burrowes admitted "the blame lies entirely with us" and that they are "completely heartbroken". 

Renate, who runs Country Boarding with her husband, Jeremy, said: "We care deeply for all the animals we look after and to have something like this happen has left us completely heartbroken.

"Whilst it sounds an unimaginable mistake to make, humans make mistakes and all we can do now is learn from this incident.

"The blame for this incident lies entirely with us, as the business owners, and not with our wonderful employees."

A GoFundMe page has been started, named 'Justice for Luna the Pug!', raising funds to help the owners with whatever they may require.