An investigation has been launched after two police dogs baked to death in a locked car as temperatures soared to 29 C.

Scotland Yard confirmed that two dogs were left in an “unventilated private vehicle” at the Met Police's training centre in Keston, south-east London on Sunday.

Police refused to name the officer responsible but he I believed to have left the dogs while he attended a meeting.

Staff forced entry into the car but it was too late to save the dogs, a German shepherd pup called Tilly and Belgian malinois called Chay.

"Both were taken to an emergency vets where they subsequently died,” the spokesman said.

One of the rescuers, assistant Tina Dale, 54, told the Daily Mirror "The suffering those dogs went through is too unbearable to think about."

"I'm in bits, we tried so hard but it was too long, the damage had been done." Another worker at the centre said:" It was a horrible way to die".

An investigation into the incident by the Directorate of Professional Standards has been launched.

In a further twist, the policeman believed to have left the dogs in the car was later found in Newham Borough suffering a hand injury and was taken to an East London Hospital for medical treatment.

It is not known if the injuries were self-inflicted.

The policeman may face a possible criminal prosecution over the death of the dogs.