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Texas Police Dog Dies After Deputy Leaves Him in a Hot Car

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K9Unit

Officers at the Harris County, Texas Sheriff’s Office are mourning the loss of one of their own, a bomb-sniffing K-9 that died after his partner left him in a hot patrol car.

According to reports, the deputy who served in the K-9 Unit for 12 of his 21 years on the police force, became distracted upon arriving home, and accidentally left the dog in the car.

Alan Bernstein, the sheriff’s director of public affairs, told The Houston Chronicle, “Our officers have a wonderful bond with these animals. The deputy is grieving, and it is a difficult time for the entire (K-9) Unit.”

An internal affairs investigation will determine if any charges will be brought against the deputy.

Meanwhile, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office are considering ways to prevent such a tragedy from happening again, including a device that would sound an alarm if the officer’s car keys and the police dog remain in close proximity for an predetermined length of time.

If any good can come out of a tragedy such as this, it is the reminder to anyone responsible for the care of an animal to never, ever, under any circumstance, leave a dog in a vehicle. Temperatures inside a parked car can soar to over 120 degrees in only a matter of minutes.

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37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. This man should be charged with negligent homicide. A K9 dog is a police officer. What could have distracted him so much? His wife greeting him wrapped in saranwrap? A bad report card from his kid? A tv show he wanted to watch? Anything short of his house on fire or a family member seriously wounded–there is no excuse. This animal is trained to risk his life under ANY circumstances, Any day of the week, year, or as long as they are “partners”. His days as a caretaker of a working dog or any live animal should be over. It’s just like a person leaving a child to die. There is nothing more important than someone you love.

  2. Avatar Of King Zohan

    King Zohan

    says:

    I know if it were me, id be charged with the death of a police canine, negligence, among other things. Its sad that this guy will just walk away from this. He should be charged the same way, and if he loved his partner so much im sure he wouldnt disagree with serving his time for his neglect. In the least, I would stick him in a car for a couple of hours in the heat and let him understand what the dog went through, if he makes it out alive well then he can always remember that the dog didnt have an ambulance on standby to pull him out and resuscitate him

  3. Avatar Of Jr. jr. says:

    I think this whole case should be investigated.Think about it, what possibly could have distracted him to surrender his partner. They neglected to tell us what was so distracting, therefor how long did his partner suffer. Not only animal cruelty, but i believe there’s another case involved. What was his priority, that overtook his loyalty. Maybe something illegal, going home should have been routine.

  4. Avatar Of Diane

    Diane

    says:

    What good would a device that sounds an alarm if the car keys and the dog are near to each other for a long period of time do? Did the man forget his keys?

    They need an alarm that sounds if the animal is left in the same place for an extended period. Something hard to miss and simple to shut off. We could attach the same thing to car seats. Technology has reached the point where we could use weight and temperature to set off an alarm, avoiding false alarms when the child’s car seat is in the car without the child.

    It’s terrible to think of what this dog went through, and just as terrible to read about what children go through when unintentionally left in vehicles.

  5. Avatar Of Dee Nichols

    dee nichols

    says:

    OMG As soon as I read it I knew what the response would be. My heart ached for what happened. I cant imagine leaving my dog in the car and forgetting her. He’s been an officer many years.I can’t think of what
    took his attention but he has got to be hurting deeply. That was his partner,his dog, his companion.
    Im so sorry it happened, whatever the reason.

  6. Avatar Of Hemma

    hemma

    says:

    If we strike a police dog, we go to jail. The kid from LSU barked at a police dog because he was barking at him and he got arrested. This guy kills a police dog by leaving him in a car, he shouldn’t just be fired, he should be arrested and charged with negligent homicide just like any citizen would.

  7. Avatar Of Brenda

    Brenda

    says:

    The email address to the reporter who wrote this is: [email protected] Maybe if people start responding to him directly he will report on the outcrying from people to have the Surviving Officer brought up on charges or fired. It’s the least we can do for the poor Puppy!

  8. Avatar Of Carol Smith carol smith says:

    This is such a horrible tragedy. All I can think of is what this beautiful officer kept wondering when is he coming back for me? I have a Shepherd and they are the most loyal loving dogs you could eve own. This was his partner. He should be severely reprimanded and fired. I am heartbroken for this dog. He is with god now and can’t be hurt or suffer anymore. My Shepherd just turned 13 on 8/24/2013. He is my best friend. I would do anything for him and I sure wouldn’t ever forget him.

  9. Avatar Of Carol

    carol

    says:

    NO EXCUSE!!! HE SHOULD BE CHARGDED JUST LIKE ANYONE ELSE FOR CARELESSNESS AND STUPIDITY!! LETS FACE IT…B/C HES A COP HE WILL GET OFF!! aNIMAL CRUELTY AND NEGLECT!!!

  10. Avatar Of Jennifer W.

    Jennifer W.

    says:

    “”According to reports, the deputy who served in the K-9 Unit for 12 of his 21 years on the police force, became distracted upon arriving home, and accidentally left the dog in the car.”
    So they expect us to believe that with 12 years K9 experience he somehow FORGOT the dog? And exactly how long was the dog shut up in the car? He murdered his PARTNER. I realize some of the statements are “damage control” by the SO, but the bottom line is he KILLED a fellow officer. I hope he gets demoted or fired and thoughts of that poor dog haunt him day & night.

  11. Avatar Of Alice

    Alice

    says:

    Fire his A$$. There is no excuse for this under any circumstances.

  12. Avatar Of Jackie

    Jackie

    says:

    Negligent homicide of a fellow law officer… plain and simple… If the dog’s death had been caused by a citizen then they would have been immediately arrested, charged, and likely done prison time… But because the killer was the dog’s OWN PARTNER he gets off with a “oops, my bad”… Complete BULL*&^%*!!!!

  13. Avatar Of Janet Saulmon

    Janet Saulmon

    says:

    What was he thinking, he should have the same punishment as anyone else who leave a dog in a hot car.

  14. Avatar Of Paula Landua

    Paula Landua

    says:

    The first thing that caught my attention was, “became distracted upon arriving home”. What is the first thing any dog owner does “when arriving home”, if they have the dog in the vehicle with them? Right, you take the dog out of the vehicle when you get out of the vehicle. I tend to believe this officer is making excuses and there really is no “REASON” for the dog being left in his vehicle long enough to die of heat exposure.

  15. Avatar Of Peter

    Peter

    says:

    Fire this sorry piece of excrement. A competent K-9 officer knows that you take care of your partner first.

    If you don’t fire him put him in a closed police care from noon to 4 pm on a sunny summer day, and then fire him.

  16. Avatar Of Frances

    Frances

    says:

    If it were anyone else, they would have cruelty charges filed. How do you forget your partner?

  17. Avatar Of Nancy Rodgers

    nancy Rodgers

    says:

    this makes me so mad and hurt… as an officer you should be MORE AWARE of your K-9/pet (after hours)… Just because you work for the law does NOT give you the right to get away with this…. you should have to pay for what happened just as anyone else …

  18. Avatar Of Cheryl Lefebvre

    CHERYL LEFEBVRE

    says:

    The Officer should be fired. This was a senseless killing of a hero.

  19. Avatar Of Rhonda

    rhonda

    says:

    he should be prosecuted for this because the dog is considered a officer. he should have not been s wreckless.

  20. Avatar Of Linda Lord

    Linda Lord

    says:

    How many times does this have to happen ? This is unforgivable.

  21. Avatar Of Lucie

    lucie

    says:

    NOT AGAIN AND IN TEXAS AGAIN WHY DON’T YOU START PUTTING OFFICERS IN THESE HOT CARS THAT HANDLE DOGS SO THEY CAN SEE FOR THEM SELFS AND HAVE BACK UP PROGRAM PROTECTING DOGS FROM THIS HAPPENEING LIKE TRIPPLE DOG CHECK IN OR SOMETHING THESE FURBABIES SHOULD NOT HAVE THIS HAPPENING ALL THE TIME FROM POLICE REALLY AND I’M SURE MUST IS NOT DONE ON PURPOSE BUT REALLY TOO MANY ARE DYING OVER SILLY MISTAKES TEXAS MAYBE SHOULD NOT HAVE K-9’S ANYMORE THEY FURBABIES AREN’T TOYS COME ON GUYS NO-BODY WANTS TO SEE A POLICE OFFICER LOOKING BAD REALLY NOW 🙁

  22. Avatar Of Deanna Martin

    Deanna Martin

    says:

    There is no excuse and he should be punished and never allowed to have a personal dog or a K9 officer!! Really, he forgot about the dog? He should definitely have charges brought and demoted. That poor dog who did nothing but serve his partner and maybe play ball once in awhile suffered greatly due to the officers negligence! He couldn’t breathe, his organs were all shutting down, his lips were cracking from dehydration, there is just no excuse for this to happen to any dog let alone a K9 officer. RIP

  23. Avatar Of Elizabeth Kane

    elizabeth kane

    says:

    Well although a deputy w/Harris Cty for 21 years and a dog handler for 12 apparently he can’t read or hear since there have been numerous stories written and on radio and tv indicating the dangers of leaving animals in a car during hot weather and we all know it never gets hot in Texas. Grieving he should be as well as ashamed of himself. If Harris Cty lets him remain a K9 officer they too should be ashamed of themselves.

  24. Avatar Of Delila

    delila

    says:

    that deputy should be in jail/prison, and if they cannot handle the responsibility of a dogs life, they shouldnt have one at all. Dont risk a life

  25. Avatar Of Colleen Souza

    colleen souza

    says:

    I wish there were battery or solar operated portable air conditioners that you can buy for cars so the dogs can stay cool.

  26. Avatar Of Nicole Ferris

    Nicole Ferris

    says:

    I hope he is charged accordingly, is no longer allowed to be a k9 nor a mounted officer..and must talk to people about the affects of leaving an animal in a car on a regular basis.

  27. My! That is as bad as leaving your child in the car on a hot day! I am sure the officer must feel bad, but, that is no excuse for what happened to the dog!!! I can not imagine leaving my dog in a hot car. That is neglegent on the officer’s part. No excuse! He should be fined or terminated from his job! If, this officer was on duty and he seen a person leaving a dog in a hot car with the windows all up, I would hope he would break a window and take the dog out and wait for the owner to get back to his car so, the officer (doing his job) cites the owner for neglect!!!! Sorry officer this is my opinion!! You would’nt do this to your child or for that matter a person in your squad car on a hot day till the person dies from suffication!!!

  28. Avatar Of Ron

    Ron

    says:

    Sick, fire him. Loyal partner my rear.

    That’s all

  29. Avatar Of Vicki

    Vicki

    says:

    well, I am appalled. It is tantamount to leaving a baby in the car. The officer in question should be SEVERLY reprimanded, up to and including termination of employment. How could he possibly be distracted enough to leave the dog in the car ? I mean, was his wife in labor, child injured ? He should let the dog out as soon as he gets out of the car, period.

  30. Avatar Of Carolyn Cox

    CAROLYN COX

    says:

    BULLSHIT IT SERVES AS A LESSON TO REMIND!!! WHAT THESE POLICE OFFICERS NEED REMINDING EVERY WEEK??? THATS HOW OFTEN THIS IS HAPPENING ACROSS THE COUNTRY. A DOG WAS STABBED RECENTLY AND A NEW LAW WAS MADE MAKING IT A FELONY FOR ASSAULTING AN OFFICER. SO MURDER SHOULD GET CAPITOL PUNISHMENT. THIS HAS TO STOP. THESE COPS ARE DUMBASSES. DO THEY DRIVE HOME AND FORGET THAT THEIR PARTNER IS STILL IN THE CAR IF THEIR PARTNER IS A HUMAN?? NO!!! THEY KNOW THEIR JOB. THEY KNOW THEY HAVE CANINE PARTNERS ALL DAY EVERY DAY!!! THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE

  31. Avatar Of Sue

    Sue

    says:

    How would “a device that would sound an alarm if the officer’s car keys and the police dog remain in close proximity for an predetermined length of time” have helped? if the officer left the dog in the car and took the keys inside his house, the alarm wouldn’t sound because the keys and dogs weren’t in “close proximity.”

  32. Avatar Of Chadetta Blankenship

    Chadetta Blankenship

    says:

    YOU SIR ARE A DIPSTICK TO THE NTH degree. How stupid are you to leave a dog/your PARTNER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD—in a car in the HEAT of HOUSTON in AUGUST. You sir are an utter failure as a PARTNER/RESPONSIBLE DOG HANDLER and I pray you never get another animal to subject to this “oversight.” Call it what you will, you sir are responsible for the death of a police canine. You should be charged with involuntary manslaughter.

  33. Avatar Of Patricia

    Patricia

    says:

    Wow,

    This is unexceptable officer or no officer, why not make these devices to all dog owners, he will get off this with a slap on the wrist because he is an officer.

    I am so sad tfor this wonderful K9.

  34. Avatar Of Valerie Holmes

    Valerie Holmes

    says:

    ‘Our officers ‘have a wonderful bond with these animals’ but the officer somehow forgot he left him in the car until he died of heatstroke… nice……. don’t insult our intelligence please…..

  35. Avatar Of Lisa Kay Duncan

    Lisa Kay Duncan

    says:

    This makes me sick…..What a Idiot!!!

  36. Avatar Of Sandra Piening

    Sandra Piening

    says:

    NOthing is so important that you would forget that you left a DOG in your car…I think he should be FIRED!!!

    • Avatar Of Toni Malik

      Toni Malik

      says:

      It costs over ten thousand dollars to train one of the K-9 dogs, I hope he never gets a dog again and he should be suspended without pay until the cost of the dogs is recovered. He is totally irresponsible and should not be a cop.

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