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UPDATED July 19, 2017: Cache County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Whittier, 36, has been charged with one count of aggravated cruelty to an animal, a class B misdemeanor, after his K9 partner, Endy, was found dead inside his patrol vehicle.
An investigation into the K9’s death revealed that Whittier drove home with Endy secured inside his patrol truck at the end of his shift. At approximately 12:00pm, Whittier parked the vehicle on the south side of his home which had direct sunlight most of the day and had limited to no shade available, according to court documents. The deputy then left the home to partake in family activities.
When Whittier returned home around 11:30pm, he realized Endy was not inside his outdoor kennel and discovered the dog still secured inside his truck. By the time he was found, Endy was already dead, having spent more than 11 hours alone in the vehicle while outside temperatures soared to about 94-degrees.
Under Utah’s laws, class B misdemeanors are punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Original story published July 18, 2017:
Since 2011, at least 50 police K9s have died of heat exhaustion while left alone inside their handlers’ patrol vehicles. It’s now been confirmed that Cache County Sheriff’s K9 Officer ‘Endy’ succumbed to the same horrific fate.
On July 3rd, temperatures outside in Logan, Utah peaked at 95-degrees while K9 Endy sat alone and forgotten inside his handlers’ patrol truck at the end of his shift.
Although Cache County K9 vehicles are equipped with safety features to prevent such an incident, the vehicle must be left running for those features to function. K9 Endy died of heat exhaustion when his handler, who was not identified, did not follow police protocol.
“The internal investigation identified that policy and procedures were not followed resulting in the tragic death of Endy,” Cache County Sheriff Chad Jensen stated. “My administration has conducted a comprehensive review of our canine program including equipment, care, welfare, daily maintenance, and training. I believe our policies and procedures are sound. This incident was a result of human error and protocol violation.”
Jensen said Tuesday that the handler had been placed on unpaid leave for an unspecified period. He also was reassigned to duties not involved with the K9 unit.
K9 Endy, an 8-year-old Belgian Malinois, had been with the Logan Police Department until last year, when the Cache County Sheriff’s office acquired him. He had been in law enforcement since April 2010, participating in more than 200 assignments, ranging from drug and suspect searches to public demonstrations.
Heatstroke is so common in police K9s 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.
“We are actively pursuing new technology wherein all K9 units will be equipped with end-of-shift warning systems,” Jensen said. “Handlers will be forced to manually shut down the security system and this system will give verbal warnings to the handler to remove the canine from the vehicle.”
The sheriff said that if not manually shut down, the system’s alarm — including horns, lights and sirens — will be activated.
He added, “Endy’s death serves as a devastating reminder to us all about the importance of eliminating distractions, maintaining a routine, and being vigilant about never leaving children or pets unattended in hot vehicles.”
A memorial is planned for the near future. An independent criminal investigation into Endy’s handler is ongoing.
This is insane this is a officer that's getting away with animal cruelty but yet Endy is an officer of the law just as well as his keeper whom apparently isn't a good officer. The officer should not be charged with a misdemeanor he should be charged with first degree murder for killing an officer
If someone shoots a K9 , they are charged with killing a cop so why is this case different?
What most people don’t have a clue about (but I worked in it) is that there is a grossly double standard. Police (and military) K9’s are also horrifically abused behind the scenes, even to the point of death, but it is a very well hidden secret. The media helps them cover it up, and also gives them a lot of positive publicity. It’s a very symbiotic relationship.
Fire that officer!!!There is NO EXCUSE for that kind of stupidity! RIP Endy.
Thats right…..negligence is manslaughter at the very least!! Officers who take on a k9 for a partner, take on a responsibility. If they fail in that responsibility and contribute to their partners death. That is manslaught of a police officer. Just like if you or i were to somehow irresponsibly contribute to that k9's death! This is another case of cops being held to different standards when it comes to following the laws in which they enforce!!! Double standards!!
I was thinking the exact same thing. How could you FORGET about your freaking PARTNER. And being a K9 officer, if you weren't such a stupid cop you would have known that a K9 officer is a highly intelligent, we'll trained ANIMAL that depends on you for food, training, love,a place to live, and above all to let him /her in and out of DOORS, as they don't have thumbs. Otherwise that loyal pup could have opened the door, hunted you down and beat the crap out of you.Veterans go against orders,spend a lot of time and money and see that stray dogs and cats make to the USA, cuz they kept their spirits up when overseas and K9 military dogs are wanted so badly by their handlers they sometimes wait yrs before they can have them,if at all. How does this happen. Of late cops all over the world shoot and often kill dogs in their own house, shoot homeless pups nursing their babies.Cops should have more stringent tests to see if they are mentally fit for duty.Very tough,scary,unpredictable job that also calls for empathy and sympathy for humans and animals in all situations.This cop doesn't have it.Fire him,w/no pension and make sure he pays financially and with jail time.It's time to start being responsible for, and respect and protect our ANIMALS.
If any other person were to kill a k9 officer they would be arrested for murder. So these cops should also be arrested for killing a cop also. As a taxpayer and animal lover I am infuriated that this happens time and time again. No more k9s for cops. Let the assholes fight their own fight if they die oh well.
Amen to that! You took the words right out of my mouth! This dog/office of the law is inexcusable.