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Wyoming police officer, Zachary Miller was a four-year veteran of the Mills Police Department and a previous Officer of the Year winner when he left his partner, a narcotics-sniffing Black Labrador named Nyx, in the back of his patrol car while he went inside the police department to train another officer.
While temperatures outside the vehicle jumped to the high 80’s, temperatures inside, where Nyx was trapped without fresh air, food, water, or ventilation, soared much higher.
When he returned to his car about 5 hours later, Nyx was dead.
Nyx was, according to the New York Daily News, one of the best narcotics detection dogs the Wyoming law enforcement agency had ever had. He had been working with the force for about 7 years when he was killed.
Miller pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty in Natrona County Circuit Court on Friday, but was released on a $500 bond.
If convicted, he faces up to 6 months in jail or a $750 fine.
The Mills Police Department issued a statement saying that “Officer Miller has been disciplined within the department because of his actions.”
He is currently still employed by the Mills PD. Additionally, the Department has suspended their K-9 program and is reviewing options, including heat detectors inside vehicles to prevent further tragedies.