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Staff and officers at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office in Hillsboro, Illinois are grieving the loss of one of their canine officers after the dog died of heat exhaustion inside one of the unit’s patrol vehicles.
Two-year old ‘Blitz’ had been with the department under the care of his handler for about a year last Sunday when he was left alone in the back of a specially equipped kennel transport SUV for a few hours.
“It’s important to note that his handler is not at fault and that the deputy did everything he could right and according to standard procedure with K-9s,” Undersheriff Rick Robbins told ABC News. “It’s just a horrible, unfortunate event.”
On Sunday, Blitz was placed inside the kennel in the back of his handler’s specially equipped SUV while his officer handler went into the police station to work for a few hours. Following standard protocol, the officer left the vehicle running and the air conditioner on. The SUV was designed with a heat alarm system that, when the vehicle reached 90-degrees, should have automatically rolled down all four windows and activated lights and sirens.
When Blitz’s handler returned a few hours later, it was apparent that the system had malfunctioned. The K-9 was dead inside his kennel.
“It looks like there were multiple failures in equipment inside the vehicle,” Robbins said. “The A/C malfunctioned and was blowing hot air, and it looks like the heat alarm system failed and didn’t go off.”
An investigation into exactly what caused the system to malfunction is ongoing. However, police maintain that the dog’s handler was in no way responsible for the death.
The handler is not at fault? Who leaves a dog or any animal, for that matter, in a car for hours without checking on them? If such a lapse in common sense is good protocol, then something is seriously wrong with Montgomery County Sheriffs Office.
I FIND THIS ABSOLUTELY OFFENSIVE, SAD, AND UNBELIEVABLE. HOW MANY DOGS SO FAR THIS YEAR ALONE HAVE DIED IN “HOT POLICE CARS”? 40 + THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS, MALFUNCTION ETC. EVERY DAY, THE EQUIPMENT SHOULD HAVE BEEN TESTED, TO MAKE SURE NOTHING LIKE THIS COULD HAPPEN. I THINK THE POLICE HAVE PROVEN THEY ARE IRRESPONSIBLE TO BE GIVEN K-9’S ANY MORE. HOW DARE THEY PUT THESE DOGS IN SUCH JEOPARDY! THESE DOGS TRAIN FOR ALMOST 2 YEARS PRACTICING DAILY. THE EXPENSE, TIME AND DEDICATION TO TRAIN THESE DOGS ARE IRREPLACEABLE. SUCH A DEDICATED, LOYAL ANIMAL TREATED LIKE “EQUIPMENT” TO ALLOW A DOG TO SUFFOCATE IS ANIMAL CRUELTY, JUST LIKE CHILD ABUSE. THESE ANIMALS LIKE CHILDREN DEPEND ON US FOR THEIR EXISTENCE. POLICE SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR DEATH JUST LIKE ANYONE WHO MISTREATS AND ABUSES THEM. IT IS CRIMINAL ACT.
Agree! The “protocol” of leaving them in cars is asanine. Who thought up that brilliant idea? Take the dogs away from any unit that has even 1 death in this manner. The police always defend these deaths. Sorry but any death like this is has no defense.