Police dog handler Pc Mark Johnson, 39, appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court to deny killing his two dogs Jay-Jay and Jet on June 30.

Dressed in a black suit, white shirt and patterned blue-and-beige tie, Johnson spoke only to confirm his name, his age and to deny killing Jet, 10, and 18-month-old Jay-Jay.

The prosecution is being brought by the RSPCA which accuses Johnson of “unnecessarily confining them (his dogs) in an environment that was detrimental to their wellbeing”.

The dogs were found in the back of Johnson’s car at Nottinghamshire Police’s HQ in Arnold after the officer popped in to run some errands.

The deaths happened on one of the hottest days of the year, when temperatures reached 29.3C (84.7F).

Johnson will go on trial before a district judge at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on February 22.