A police spokesman said officers were made aware of a dog panting heavily inside a car at the Sherwood Forest visitor centre car park this afternoon, Sunday, April 21, as the temperature topped 22C.
And, after attempts to contact the owner were unsuccessful, officers managed to force a window open to give the dog some water, before opening the boot to get the animal out.
The spokesan said the car's window's had been left slightly ajar, but they were unsure how long the dog had been inside.
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Police are now "urging dog owners not to leave their animals trapped in hot cars".
Chief Inspector Annie Reavley said: “It takes less than an hour for the temperature inside a car, even with a window open, to more than double when it's 22C outside.
"This could prove fatal to the dog even if a window is slightly open.
“In this instance we had to force open one of the car windows to rescue the dog.
"Luckily, it was able to return home with its owners safe and well, but if we hadn’t been made aware the consequences could have been far more serious. Heatstroke can be fatal to dogs.
“With another warm day forecast tomorrow, as people continue to enjoy the Easter Bank Holiday, we just want to remind dog owners of the dangers of leaving their animals trapped inside hot cars - even for a few minutes.
"Temperatures inside vehicles can rise rapidly, which can make dogs very distressed.”
For more advice, including what you should do if you see a dog showing signs of distress in a hot car, visit nottinghamshire.police.uk/advice/dogsinhotcars
For more information on what to do and helping animals that are suffering heatstroke, visit the RSPCA website.
In the UK it is not illegal to leave your dog in a car. However, it is illegal to mistreat or abuse an animal in your care. Leaving your dog in a hot car is deemed animal neglect under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and you could be slapped with a fine.