Corrections officer charged with animal cruelty in death of his K9 companion

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In Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, a corrections officer has been charged with animal cruelty after a K-9 officer used for drug detection died in his care in July after left in a hot vehicle for hours, reports PAHomepage.

On Wednesday, state police  charged Sgt. Chad Holland for the July 7th death of two-year-old Labrador retriever Totti which occurred during a training exercise at the state prison of Rockview. According to court records, Totti “was deprived of necessary sustenance, drink … and access to cool and proper shelter.” Holland, the dog’s handler, didn’t realize he had left Totti in the car for two hours and 29 minutes. Temperatures outdoors exceeded 86 degrees that day.

Personnel tried to cool the dog down with hoses and ice after he was discovered in the vehicle. Totti died early that evening. Following an investigation, Holland and his supervisor were removed from the Drug Interdiction Unit. There has been no word if any disciplinary action will be taken by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections. According to FoxNews the following new initiatives have been taken since Totti’s death which includes:

• No K9s will be left in the vehicle for any reason when the handler is not in vehicle.
• When deployed overnight the handler and K9 will stay in pet friendly hotels.
• Placards will be posted on dashboard constantly reminding the handler of K9 in vehicle.

A Care2 petition demanding Holland be fired has garnered  more than 160,000 supporters.

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