Police K-9 officer found dead in Florida patrol vehicle

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In Cocoa, Florida, a criminal investigation is underway at the Cocoa Police Department after K-9 Officer Zena was found dead on Wednesday afternoon in the back of her patrol vehicle. Reports state the dog died as a result of unexplained circumstances.

According to the social media page for the Cocoa Police Department, Zena’s handler found her when he went to check on the dog during a training class at the Criminal Justice Academy in Melbourne. The vehicle had been at the site for hours; the officer went to check on the dog at 1:30 – during the hottest part of the day.

On Thursday, investigators studied the patrol car where the dog died. Police spokespersons state the car is a fully equipped canine vehicle with appropriate safety features including ventilation and alarm systems. It is not known if the equipment was properly working at the time of K-9 Officer Zena’s death.

Zena had been donated to the city in August 2020; she was a two-year-old Belgian Malinois certified in April for patrol work. Her handler has been placed on paid leave.

The Cocoa Police Department is heartbroken over Zena’s death.

Rest in peace Zena.

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