Police K9 died after patrol car air-conditioning failed

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A working canine, with the Porterville, California, Police Department, died from heat exhaustion after the air-conditioning in a patrol car shut off, reported Thursday’s Los Angeles Times. The K9, a Belgian Malinois named “Idol,” had been placed in the patrol vehicle after a training exercise on Wednesday.

When the canine’s handler returned to the vehicle an hour-and-a-half later, the car was off, and Idol had already died. Idol’s partner is devastated over the loss of the dog; Porterville Police Chief Eric Kroutil commented on the tragic loss, “In his terms, his terms, it’s like losing a kid. They’ve been together for two years. This officer is one of our top officers, he’s SWAT, he was our officer of the year last year for the department. He’s a stellar officer, he pays attention to all the details. It’s just a tragedy,” reported ABC 30 News.

Idol’s death happened after multiple failures – the air conditioning turned off and a warning system, which is supposed to alert the handler if the system fails, did not work either. Investigators found a disconnected cable to the warning system.

The Porterville Police Department has stated that new, “state-of-the-art” warning systems are being installed in all of the K9 patrol vehicles.

(Photo Porterville Police Department)

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7 replies
  1. Barkley's Mom says:

    I’m sure this officer is devastated over the loss of Idol. He followed procedure and the car shut down and alarm never went off (wasn’t connected?) According to ABC 30 News the dog was left in the car while he worked inside his home? Why would the dog have to stay in the car to “cool down”? Rest in peace Idol, condolences to your handler and family and fellow police officer, I know you will be missed.


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  1. […] police K9s died inside of patrol cars during the hot summer months – a Belgian Malinois in California died after the air-conditioning unit in the patrol car failed, and a yellow Labrador retriever […]

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