A sheriff’s deputy in Cache County, Utah has been charged with recklessly causing the death of his K-9 patrol dog after leaving him in an unattended patrol car. On Wednesday, the Cache County attorney’s office announced the charges against Deputy Jason Whittier, the dog’s handler.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, on July 3, Whittier parked his patrol truck at noon in the full sun at his home, and for most of the day, Endy suffered in that vehicle while his handler participated in family activities. When Whittier returned late that night, he saw Endy was not in his kennel and discovered the dog in the vehicle; Endy had died. Sheriff vehicles are equipped with safety features, however the vehicle must be running.
Temperatures on that day reached 95 degrees; a necropsy determined Endy died of heat stroke. Endy, an eight-year-old Belgian Malinois had been with the sheriff’s office for a year; he had previously served with the Logan Police Department and had been a law enforcement dog since 2010.
“This tragedy serves as a stark reminder to never leave children or animals alone inside of a car for any amount of time, as temperatures can quickly rise to a deadly level,” Cache County attorney office’s chief deputy Tony Baird stated in the news release.
Whittier, 36, faces aggravated animal cruelty charges – a class B misdemeanor. If found guilty, he could face a maximum penalty of $1,000 and up to six-months in jail. A court appearance is scheduled for August 28.
Rest in peace Endy. Your life ended too soon because of human error and allegedly not following protocol.
(Photo of Endy for sheriff’s deputy charged via Cache County Sheriff’s Department)
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