According to Fox News, a police department in California is calling the death of an off-duty K-9 from being left in a hot car a “tragic accident.”
Ten days ago, the officer who worked with the dog named Ozzy, found the dead dog in the middle of the afternoon. The officer was with the Long Beach Police Department. The high in Long Beach that day was 89 degrees, according to AccuWeather.
A veterinarian examined Ozzy and the preliminary results of the exam determined his death to be “heat-related.”
“Once this review is complete, the department will assess this tragic accident and ensure it does not happen again,” according to a news release.
When Ozzy died, he was in a K-9 vehicle that was equipped with a heat-alert system. The system triggers an alarm through a phone app when the vehicle becomes too hot. Additionally, the vehicle had a cooling system that is not supposed to shut off unless it is manually disabled.
Police believe that at the time of this tragic accident, the alarm was not working. The department is requiring all K-9 units to check the alert system before each shift.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Ozzy was half-Belgian Malinois and half-German Shepherd. He was with the department for five years with the drug unit.
A police spokesman did not respond when asked if it was common practice to leave a K-9 in the vehicle.
Police are asking for people to respect Ozzy’s handler and his family.
“Our department is mourning Ozzy’s loss as we would with any of our employees, our K-9’s are an indispensable part of our department, and we will continue to view them as partners,” according to a statement released by the police.
By Jeanette Smith
Fox News: California police K-9 dies after being left alone in hot car
Long Beach Post: LBPD K-9 officer found dead in car; heat likely to blame, police say
KTLA 5: Long Beach K-9 Of Heat-Related Illness After Being Left in Handler’s Patrol Car: Police
Image Courtesy of André Gustavo Stumpf’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License