A police K9 died after being left inside of a hot vehicle and an investigation has revealed that there were multiple failures from the car, and the dog’s handler. According to the Detroit Free Press, the German shepherd named Vito was left inside of the parked vehicle on June 26 and he died from heat-related medical issues the next day.
What happened that tragic day
Detroit Police Cmdr. Darin Szilagy has stated that the dog’s handler left Vito in the car, which was started remotely, and he went with another police officer to retrieve a different car. The vehicle which Vito was in was equipped with an alarm system and an air-conditioner…both failed during the 40 minutes that he was left alone on the sunny day.
When the officer returned to the car, Vita was showing obvious signs of heat stroke. The German shepherd was rushed to a veterinarian for care but he died the next day from cardiac arrest. An investigation revealed that although the officer left the vehicle’s air-conditioner running, he knew that sometimes the car turned off and he had failed to report the issue. Tragically, the alarm system which was supposed to sound an alert of the car’s interior got too hot, also failed.
Cmdr. Szilagy commented on the officer’s short-comings with regards to Vito’s death:
“The investigation found while there were mechanical issues with the vehicle, the officer was also found responsible for the incident. Our policy is that you should check the dog every 30 minutes, no matter what.”
The officer has been assigned to street patrol and he is waiting to see if there is further disciplinary action. The officer, who has not been named, is said to be distraught over the dog’s death. His commander said, “He was training rigorously with that dog. He is beyond consolation.”
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