Oklahoma Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Peck was terminated from the department when an investigation into his K9 partner, Bak’s death revealed the dog had been left trapped in the police cruiser for at least 36 hours.
Bak, an 8-year old German shepherd, had served the department for 6 years at the time of his death, presumably due to heat exhaustion while trapped in the vehicle.
Former deputy Peck was partnered with K9 Bak for four years when he left the German shepherd in the back of his police cruiser for the entire duration of his days off of work. It was 36 hours later when the deputy was back on duty. He returned to his police-issued cruiser and smelled the dead animal during his drive to the courthouse to work on August 5.
Peck was terminated from the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators have turned over their findings to the distric attorney’s office who will review the case and determine if charges will be filed against the former deputy.
“You have the utmost responsibility to take care of those dogs as a K9 handler,” Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney told The Duncan Banner. “I know there was some departmental policies violated, but we have concerns in other areas. We’re looking at that, and I just want to assure the people it will be dealt with if there is a problem.”
Bak’s name will be added to a memorial alongside the department’s other fallen officers outside the Stephens County courthouse.