A dog was taken into RSPCA care after being rescued from a hot car in the car park of Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Officers believe the dog, named Fudge, had been left in the car, in which a temperature of 31 degrees Celsius was recorded, for more than 90 minutes before they arrived on Friday morning.
Police had earlier been alerted to the dog’s welfare by concerned members of the public.
The two-year-old, who was wearing a muzzle inside the vehicle, was signed into RSPCA care and is now being assessed by local RSPCA officials before he is made available for rehoming.
RSPCA inspector Emily Astillberry said: “The car was parked in direct sunlight with all four windows rolled down and the dog tethered inside.
“What made it even more concerning was that he had been muzzled.
“Muzzles restrict dogs and can make it much more difficult for them to pant. His body temperature must have been through the roof.
“The temperature was in the 20s outside the car but when I put my thermometer inside the vehicle it recorded 31C.”
She added that the owner of the dog was given a “strong warning” when he returned to the car.
Although the RSPCA has been warning of the dangers of leaving pets in hot cars in recent weeks, officials say the charity received almost 600 calls to its emergency hotline last week alone, 10 of which were in Norfolk.
Although police were unable to attend this incident, the RSPCA says that people who do see an animal in distress in a hot car should still call 999 in the first instance, as the charity does not have police powers of entry to be able to rescue an animal from a vehicle.