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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.