Stockton, California police are devastated over the loss of Police K-9 Nitro in what is being called a tragic accident.
“It is with great sadness that we must inform you that one of our Police K9s, Nitro, died,” the department posted on its Facebook page.
They further explained that Nitro’s handler noticed the dog had some type of medical issue, most likely due to the heat, and rushed him to an emergency veterinarian where he later passed.
Nitro had just assisted in catching a dangerous criminal on the run. After successfully chasing down the suspect, Nitro was returned to the patrol car to wait while his handler assisted other officers with a crowd that had gathered.
The Stockton Police Department said it appears that the air conditioning in the patrol car, along with other safety features, stopped working, resulting in Nitro become overheated.
Stockton PD’s K9 patrol cars are equipped with multiple safety mechanisms to prevent such a tragedy, including an extra fan, heat sensors, and extra water. The department are still working to determine exactly what went wrong.