A 3-year-old Belgian Malinois from the Brown County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin became at least the tenth K9 officer to be negligently killed by their partner after being left in a hot vehicle since April.
The $17,000 dog, Wix, was on assignment with his human partner and handler Deputy Austin Lemberger, at the PGA Championship golf tournament, when the deputy left him in the vehicle, allegedly with the air conditioning on. According to the department, the vehicle’s blower motor stopped working, and a heat alarm that is supposed to set off an alarm if the internal heat rises to high did not activate.
Wix was reportedly found by the officer around 12:30 p.m. unresponsive, though it is not clear how long he had been left alone and unchecked inside the vehicle.
“(Officers) don’t have the luxury of tying a patrol dog to the tree when they rest … They are so well-trained that when they come out of the car they’re on high alert,” Margaret Eastman, a veterinarian from Bay East Animal Hospital, which partners with the department to care for the dogs, told local station 11 Alive.
“Utilizing the vehicle as a place of rest is necessary,” she continued.
Just days ago, we reported on a Texas deputy who was fired after leaving his K9 partner in a vehicle for more than 20 hours.
Interestingly, the same cops who do not value the human lives their colleagues take, who stand behind the thin blue line when a cop kills a child or unarmed person, were outraged by the death of the animal who was one of their own.
If only they cared this much when it was a toddler hit in the face with a flash bang grenade, or a child gunned down for playing with a toy gun.
The epidemic of police dog deaths due to extreme negligence by these officers has become so bad that we have created a new page called K9 Watchdogs to keep track of these incidents. If we have missed any, please send us the information there.
Here is a list of the nine other “isolated incidents” that we know of since April.
- K9 Zeke of the Muldrow Police Department in Arkansas.
- Sgt. Baston of the Savanna State University Police Department in Georgia.
- Zane from the Conyers Police Department in Georgia.
- Mason from the Gulf Shores Police Department in Alabama.
- Jimmy and Hector (two dogs) from the Hialeah Police Department in Florida.
- Jola from the Jim Wells County Sheriff’s Office in Texas.
- Nitro from Stockton, California.
- Igor of the Kissimmee PD in Florida.
All these cases still remain “under investigation.”
Earlier this year, an Ohio cop who killed his K9 last year by leaving it in his patrol car was convicted of animal cruelty. Montville Sgt. Brett Harrison remains on the job after paying a $500 fine.