Each year, stories about dogs dying from heatstroke after being left in cars infuriate me. It is such a needless and painful death, and one that could so easily be prevented. I applaud people who smash open car windows to rescue ailing animals. Sometimes people call the police to alert them to a situation. Never would I have expected to hear that an animal officer’s dog died of heatstroke after being left in a hot car, but that is exactly what happened in Georgia.
According to the Woodstock police department in Woodstock, Georgia, Spartacus, a three-year-old Belgian Malinois police dog was found dead in his handler’s car right outside of the officer’s home. The Georgia police department ordered a necropsy and it heatstroke was determined as the cause of death.
CNN reports “The K9 handler is currently on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of an internal investigation.” While the department will not identify the officer, they do say he is a nine-year veteran of the force and has been working in the K-9 unit for seven years. He allegedly kept his first police dog as a family pet after the dog retired. The handler is said to be devastated.
Spartacus trained in drug detection, tracking and apprehension. A memorial service for the pup will be take place at a date yet to be determined.
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