A 'therapy dog' used to help pupils at a Kent school has perished inside a scorching hot car.
Ruby, a Labrador bitch who visited students at Sittingbourne Community College, passed away after being left in the vehicle in 20c heat on Tuesday.
She had been driven to the school by her PE teacher owner, Dave Carden, 53, and left in the car for another member of staff to collect.
The other teacher allegedly failed to pick her up and she was found dead in the vehicle by Mr Carden six hours later.
The Mail reports that Ruby was in the car between 8am and 2.35pm on what was the hottest day of the year so far.
Despite Mr Carden rushing the five year-old animal to the vet, there was nothing they could do to save her.
Ruby had visited the school three times a week since 2010, helping lower-ability students in their lessons, and was awarded a young carers' community award in 2011.
The principal of the trust which runs the college said many of the children had been left devastated by the tragic accident.
Jon Whitcombe said Ruby was a 'much-loved' member of the school community.
"We've got a number of very upset pupils and staff and we're trying our best to provide the necessary support to those concerned," he said.
The RSPCA has launched an investigation into Ruby's death and said they could not comment on the case.