Police K9 died after being left in hot vehicle

Police K9 died after being left in hot vehicle – handler and system failures

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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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9 replies
  1. Barkley's Mom says:

    Another police K-9 suffers because of the lack of responsibility of the handler. We all know this officer will receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist for the death of this dog. Yes he should be “beyond consolation”, his lack of responsiblilty killed his partner! Rest in peace K-9 Vito, thank you for putting your life on the line for your partner, family and fellow officers, I know you will be missed.

  2. pennysdachshunds says:

    SO IS this SO CALLED “OFFIECER “NOT” Still Employed on the Detroit Force ( and of what Racial ,Ethnic background of the “OFFICER”NOT” and Gender is this Less than Upstanding Law I nforcement Reclusive ?” Says a lot for the Department!!! That is totally a Bogus cover up by the higher command!!! The investigation and the outcome should BE made PUBLIC ASAP!!!! DETROIT is GOOD AT COVER UP’s I Understand!!!

  3. Darla G says:

    A new policy needs to be implemented that a K-9 officer is NEVER left alone in a squad car for any reason. The dog can’t open the door if he’s too warm. He’s at the mercy of his handler. I don’t care if the car is equipped with alarms — they obviously can fail. RIP Vito. I’m so sorry for your suffering.

  4. De says:

    Again i say, it is animal abuse to
    Put these beloved pets into harms way either blatantly in the field or thru stupidity of handler.

  5. pennysdachshunds says:

    Being well over the age for Social Security: I was brought UP in the ERA that we either had respect for the law at ALL times or we got the LIVING SHIT beat out of us by our parents!! The past three I have seen more than enough about the TOTAL DETERIOTION of THE SO CALLED LAW!!! What the HELL has happened IN OUR COUNTRY!!! How many animals have BEEN MURDERED AT the HANDS OF THEIR HANDLERS::: These ARE COPS that are TOTAL INCOMPENTENT JERKS!!! I would like to use another word BUT ONE of them would track me down and KILL ME !!! Sad to SAY I am not MAKING a JOKE !!! It is a sad TIME for EVERYONE ESPECIALLY NOT to HAVE the UTMOST OF RESPECT for OUR Officers!!! Yet they appear to have NO RESPECT for Their Companions that KEEP THEM SAFE!!!! SHAME ! SHAME! ON EACH & EVERY ONE OF U!!! May YOU that have done this have a conscience and treat YOUR PROTECTION with CARE!!! LOVE!!! RESPECT!!!

  6. Julie Enos says:

    Exactly Darla, How many times does this have to happen?
    We can now take service dogs that are owned by vets and people with handicaps into stores and restaurants so policeman take the K9 with you, after all he is a service animal. The thing about this story is that it states this K9’s policeman new the air conditioner was faulty that is why he left with another policeman to get a different car. So we have two policeman dummies that left an animal in the car. I hope they see that dogs face every night when they are trying to fall asleep.


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