Dogs & Laws

46 Police Dogs Have Died in Hot Patrol Cars


At least 64 working police dogs have died of heat exhaustion since 2011, with 46 of those having perished while trapped inside a hot patrol car.

Whether these deaths were a result of negligence, equipment malfunction, or simple stupidity, each and every case of heat stroke-related death is avoidable and preventable.

The interactive graphic below was created by Press-Gazette Media Reporter Adam Rodewald using data from the Officer Down Memorial Page, Connecticut Police Work Dog Association and nationwide news reports. It details the shocking number of heat-related deaths among our 4-legged officers.

Heatstroke is so common, in fact, that it results in more deaths of K9 officers than gunshots, stabbings, and auto accidents each year. Heat-related incidents are the one of the most common causes of canine officer deaths, second only to medical and health-related issues.

Hover over each dot in the graphic below for details:

“To our way of looking at things, an officer who allows a dog to die of heat exhaustion on duty is as neglectful as leaving a service revolver on a school playground,” Scott Heiser, director of the criminal justice program for the California-based Animal Legal Defense Fund said.




  1. Frances LeTourneau

    Oct 18, 2015 at 9:31 pm

    How can police be so stupid?????

  2. Mary Barnes

    Oct 17, 2015 at 12:50 am

    What should be done is all of the cops or handlers who were responsible for the dogs that died should be locked in a hot room that they can’t get out of and see how they like it. This makes me sick because cops are suppose to protect and how can they when they allow a helpless dog die in a hot car. Fire them and make them pay for the dog that died in their care.

  3. Carole Pile

    Oct 16, 2015 at 1:02 pm

    If 46 prisoners had died while locked in hot patrol cars, there would be all kinds of outrage. These K9 officers are every bit as important as their officer handlers, and should be treated as such!

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