A police dog in Utah died of heat exhaustion after his handler wrongly left him in a parked police truck, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
Endy, a K-9 service dog for the Cache County Sheriff’s Office, was found dead in a parked Sheriff K-9 Unit truck in early June. Now, an internal investigation has revealed that the handler’s decision to break procedure caused the dog’s death.
K-9 Unit trucks come with security features to keep the canines at safe temperatures when the car is running. According to the investigation, however, Endy’s handler broke protocol and turned off the truck before leaving the dog in the parked vehicle, exposing it to 95-degree heat for hours.
The officer, who police declined to identify, forgot to let the canine out of the hot truck before his shift ended.
The department has placed the involved officer on unpaid leave, and will transfer him to a different unit that does not have dogs.
Endy, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, had worked with law enforcement since 2010. Over the course of that time he was involved in over 200 police actions, including sniffing out drugs and suspects. The Sheriff’s Department plans to host a memorial service for the police dog in the near future.
To prevent future incidents like this, Sheriff Chad Jensen of the Cache County Sheriff’s Office has stated that his department is actively pursuing the implementation of new security technologies in their K-9 trucks.
These mechanisms, Jensen says, require handlers to manually shut down the temperature security system for the dog, and thus remind handlers to remove police dogs from their truck before turning off the vehicle. Numerous warning signals, including a loud alarm, will sound if the officers do not follow the procedure.
Next, for a story with a happier ending, read about the French police dog who was fired from his position for being too friendly. Then, read about the camel who bit the head off of his owner after being left in the hot sun.