Two dogs were rescued by police from a "blazing hot" car where they had been left for more than half an hour.
Officers decided to smash the car window in order to free the animals.
York City Centre Policing team said on Twitter the car was so hot inside the officers were "struggling to breathe", adding: "There is no excuse for this, I am utterly appalled".
The force said the matter had been referred to the RSPCA and the owners of the car "will be prosecuted".
A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said officers attended the incident at York Hospital car park on Monday afternoon.
She said: "When we arrived police had already removed two Labradors from the vehicle.
"The dogs were taken to the vets for treatment for heat exhaustion and now remain in RSPCA care.
"An investigation has been launched so we cannot comment any further at this time."
How to treat a dog with heatstroke
- Move the animal to a shaded, cool area
- Douse the dog with cool, not cold, water
- If possible, use wet towels or place them in the breeze of a fan
- Allow the dog to drink small amounts of cool water
- Continue to douse the dog with cool water until its breathing starts to settle, but never so much that it begins to shiver
- Once cool, take the dog to the nearest vet as a matter of urgency
#PC1810 and PCSO 3680 have just rescued two dogs from a vehicle where the owners had left them for over half an hour in a car in the blazing hot sun. The window was smashed and the owners will be prosecuted by @RSPCAYORK. There is no excuse for this, I am utterly appalled…1/2 pic.twitter.com/xUMWUbzBVK— NYP York City (@NPTYorkcity) June 25, 2018
2/2 Officers were in that car for thirty seconds and were struggling to breathe so goodness knows what these poor animals were going through. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A HOT CAR ON A SUNNY DAY! How many warnings do you need? @RSPCAYORK thank you for your prompt attendance. #PC1810 pic.twitter.com/SgXjAIzZEz— NYP York City (@NPTYorkcity) June 25, 2018
According to the RSPCA website, on warm days a car can become "as hot as an oven very quickly".
It says: "When it's 22 degrees, in a car it can reach an unbearable 47 degrees within the hour."