For the fifth time in two months, a police dog died of heat stroke after an officer left it in a heated patrol car.
This time, it was K9 Zeke of the Muldrow Police Department in Arkansas, who died last week after police say its handler left it in the car with the air conditioner on.
However, the air conditioner malfunctioned, causing it to blow out hot air instead of cold.
According to KFSM:
The dog was inside of a patrol unit for longer than an hour on July, 24, 2015. Officer Robert Allen got into work at 4 p.m. and left Zeke in the vehicle with the air conditioner running, according to Chief George Lawson. A domestic battery report kept Allen on the phone for an hour and 15 minutes. When the officer eventually returned to the 2014 Chevy Tahoe, he discovered it had malfunctioned and was only blowing out hot air.
Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Charlie House said the investigation is ongoing.
In a preliminary report, House stated in part: “I told Chief Lawson that I have been a K9 handler for over 5 years and that it was not uncommon for me to leave my K9 in my unit with the air conditioner running while I am in the office working on paperwork. I also told Chief Lawson that the County is having some problems with the air conditioners in our Tahoe’s.”
House ended the report with this statement: “I told Officer Allen that in my opinion there was nothing that he could have done and that it could have happened to any K9 Officer. I told Officer Allen that I as a K9 Handler was going to learn from this.”
Earlier this month, a police dog named Sgt. Baston from the Savannah State University in Georgia died after its handler left it inside the patrol car and fell asleep inside his home.
Also this month, a police dog named Zane from the Conyers Police Department, also in Georgia, died after its handler left it in the car and fell asleep.
Last month, a police dog named Mason from the Gulf Shores Police Department in Alabama died after being left in the car for hours.
And in May, two police dogs named Jimmy and Hector from the Hialeah Police Department in South Florida died after an officer left them in the car for several hours while he slept in his home.
All cases are said to still be “under investigation.”
Police dogs are considered police officers, which means that if a citizen kills them, they will be charged with a felony.