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Police dog found dead in hot patrol car

By Gary Bogue
Wednesday, June 25th, 2008 at 6:49 am in dogs, Hot Cars, Hot Weather.


Associated Press, June 24, 2008:
“SAN DIEGO — A police dog was found dead in the back of his handler’s patrol car amid triple digit temperatures.

“The 5-year-old Belgian Malinois named Forest was found Friday in the vehicle parked outside the officer’s home in Alpine in eastern San Diego County, police spokeswoman Monica Munoz said Tuesday.

“Police were not releasing the officer’s name pending an investigation, Munoz said. She said she didn’t know how long Forest was inside the vehicle or whether heat contributed to the dog’s death.

“Temperatures in Alpine soared above 100 degrees F. on Friday when a high-pressure system brought record high temperatures across Southern California, the National Weather Service said.

The county Department of Animal Services was conducting a necropsy to determine the cause of death, Munoz said.” -30-

Proving once again that no matter who you are, if you leave your dog (or child) in the car for even a short period of time … even on a moderately warm day … even with some of the windows cracked … you can end up killing it.

Check out these Web sites for some interesting information about pets (and children) left in cars:

Hyperthermia Deaths of Children in Vehicles:

Pets in hot cars:

How hot do cars get?

Bottom line here, folks … do not leave your pets (or children) alone in your car. Not if you love them. Thanks for caring. /Gary

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No Responses to “Police dog found dead in hot patrol car”

  1. Laila Says:

    What sad news and what a horrible way for a beautiful animal to die. Is there a new law that states that pets/animals cannot be left in the car no matter what? Someone told me that some new law was passed last year, but I have not heard anything about it. It’s too bad that a law enforcement official doesn’t use or have common sense. If it were us, we’d get ticketed for this and much worse since the poor dog died.

  2. Bill Hussey Says:

    If this Police dog died as a result of another police officer’s neglect, such as leaving him alone without complete protection, there is only one form of discipline, fire the S.O.B., fire the S.O.B., fire the S.O.B.. I hope to God that this is not true, that there is another explaination. I am a retired police officer, that police dog is his partner, no difference than a human police officer partner. Again, I pray that there is another explaination after a complete investigation, no different that if his partner was a human being! Retired, Bill Hussey.

  3. Paulette Kenyon Says:

    That police officer should be charged with animal cruelty and never again allowed to handle or own animals in the future. Unless the police officer was bound and gagged or had some other life threatening excuse for leaving the dog in there, I can’t see this as anything but an extreme act of animal cruelty. I’m guessing that if this officer doesn’t have a good reason, the officer will be charged with felony animal cruelty and will lose her job because of that. If anything, police officers should have an enhanced sensitivity towards the life and wellbeing of others. I’m sure everyone reading this article has imagined the extreme anguish the dog must’ve experienced in the last moments of his life. I’m sure we all wonder what was it that came before the life of this officer’s loyal and devoted partner. Oops! just doesn’t cut it here.

  4. Barbara Says:

    I feel safe in believing that police officers, in general, take their responsibilities seriously. They truly understand the dangers of heat and do love their animals. What occurred was probably out of blatant stupidity, not malice.
    In comparison, on June 12, as I was leaving a Pleasant Hill store (with the temp near 95°), an officer pulled up behind me blocking my parking space. He was frantically trying to open the car next to me that had its windows partially down. Youngsters were in that car.
    (Hopefully, he has received the letter of commendation that I forwarded to his patrol division commander and the City of Pleasant Hill.)

  5. Paulette Kenyon Says:

    In this month’s issue of Cornell University’s “Dogwatch” newsletter, it has an article about overheating your dog, “Heatstroke: A Potential Warm Weather Killer.” In it, it states that on a warm day, a car’s interior can reach 150 degrees and that a dog can expire in that situation within only 10 minutes of being confined in that manner. Wow! I see many people leave their dogs in cars in the summer heat. That means a quick trip into the store is enough to kill your dog.

    I love this Dogwatch newsletter. I also get their Whole Dog newsletter too. They both have many wonderful tips. Some of the other tips for overheating in that article include remembering that if it is your dog’s first run during the hot weather of the year, the dog may not be use to the heat yet. So, if you think you can run 5 miles, if the dog hasn’t run in a while, it’s best to make it shorter and build up his tolerance. Don’t take dogs out during the hottest time of the day – between 12-3 PM. Make sure your dog’s water and the interior of your house is cool enough for your dog. If the dog is overheated, don’t put him in ice water or rub him down with ice. Cool water is better. The ice water will cause his skin’s blood vessels to spasm shut and he won’t be able to release the heat within through his skin, thus making him overheat even more.

    Also, short nosed dogs (like pugs)are more sensitive to heat than long nosed dogs. They have more trouble panting, which is how they cool down. If your dog is panting alot, he may be overheated.

    Like people who accidentally leave their babies in the car, I suppose the officer could’ve made an honest mistake; but, it’s troublesome to know that someone who is charged with the care of lives would make such an error. Hopefully, knowledge of this incident will save the lives of other animals.

  6. Nancy Says:

    Hi Gary, In regards to the handler of the Police dog what happened to him? Did he get jail time for killing his partner since police dogs are considered Police officers. Just curious as to what happened in this case.

  7. Gary Says:

    Nancy: All I know is that the local police department was investigating and talking to the officer. I haven’t been able to find out the results. /Gary

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