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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.