Police K9 Ozzy Dies in Car from Heat-Related Causes
A K9 with a police department in California died of apparent heat-related causes in an official vehicle.
The police dog, called Ozzy, and the officer were off-duty when the dog was found dead last week.
The officer, who is not going to be identified, reported the dog’s death and an investigation is underway, The Los Angeles Times reported.
The 6-year-old dog, a half Belgian Malinois and half German shepherd, was found dead in the vehicle at roughly 3:40 pm on August 14.
‘A veterinarian examination of Ozzy and the preliminary results determined the cause of death to be heat-related,’ Long Beach police public information officer Arantxa Chavarria said in a statement.
‘Our K9 vehicles are outfitted with fail-safe equipment that is meant to generate an alert. At this time, we believe this alert may not have been working.’
Chavarria claimed the kit includes a heat-controller system that uses a cellphone app to signal when the vehicle is getting too warm.
Another mechanism provides a ‘manual button that only shuts down the system when activated by the handler,’ she said.
Chavarria declined to say if it was normal that a K9 should be left in a car alone in a department-issued car.
All K9 handlers have been checking their vehicle’s heat system controllers before every shift since Ozzy’s death, she said.
Temperatures in Long Beach on the day Ozzy died were between 81F and 84F, records by Accuweather show
Ozzy had worked as a K9 for more than five years. During his time, he assisted numerous groups including the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
‘We ask that you respect the handler and his family,’ Chavarria said. ‘Our department is mourning Ozzy’s loss as we would with any of our employees.
‘Our K9s are an indispensable part of our department, and we will continue to view them as partners.’
Temperatures on that afternoon were between 81 and 84 degrees, records by Accuweather show.
The Humane Society of the United States says that leaving pets locked in cars is never safe.
It warns that ‘high temperatures can cause irreparable organ damage and even death.
‘Protecting animals from an unnecessary death is a problem we can all agree to prevent.’
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