Spartacus, a 3-year old Belgian Malinois, was found dead around 9:00pm Monday night in the back of his handler’s car. A necropsy revealed that heat stroke was the cause of his death.
Officer Berry has been with the Woodstock Police Department for 9 years, having spent 7 of those years as a K9 handler. His first K9 partner, Atticus, is living with Berry as a family pet since retiring from the force.
A Pickens County Sheriff Dept. spokesman said investigators are trying to determine how long the dog was left in the car and whether Officer Berry will face criminal charges.
Spartacus’ death is truly tragic for the residents of Woodstock. The talented canine was cross-trained in drug detection, tracking and apprehension and had a long career ahead of him.
A memorial service is being planned for the fallen hero.
Sadly, the tragic and painful death that Spartacus faced is not as uncommon an even to police K-9’s as you’d think.
Just last month, a Perry County, Mississippi officer forgot about his K9 partner—also a Belgian Malinois, named Napo, leaving him in a police car overnight to die.
And, a 10-year-old Dutch Shepherd partnered with Lt. TJ Frye of Warwich, Georgia was left in his patrol car for a full three days while his handler left for a trip. When Frye returned, he found the dead dog in the car along with signs it had desperately tried to find a way out.