Al police dog dies after being left in car www.privateofficer.com
Source: montgomery advertiser A police K9 dog died Friday after his human partner accidentally left him inside a patrol car between shifts, police said Monday.
The internal affairs division is investigating the incident, said Capt. Keith Barnett, a police spokesman.
Police notified the Humane Society so it could decide whether to conduct a criminal investigation, Barnett said.
Humane deputies could not immediately be reached for comment.
The officer has been transferred from K9 to patrol and could face further discipline depending on the outcome of the investigation, Barnett said.
The dog, Urso, was laid to rest Monday.
The officer had driven Urso to the Police Department’s kennel mid-morning Friday. Normally, the dog would be checked into the kennel, fed and given water, Barnett said.
The officer “just forgot,” Barnett said. The officer returned to the kennel for his next shift at 8 p.m. and found Urso dead inside the vehicle.
The officer is “emotionally devastated” by Urso’s death, Barnett said.
Officers and K9 dogs work together as partners every day, often confronting dangerous situations together, he said.
“They are the only backup either one of them have,” Barnett said.
He also pointed out that K9 partners are like family members to human officers and that police dogs and their handlers even spend a lot of their off time together.
Urso’s death is believed to be heat-related.
It is hard to say exactly what happened Friday morning since the investigation has not been completed, Barnett said, but something happened to disrupt the officer’s routine.
The K9 unit had worked past its normal shift Friday, and circumstances interrupted the officer’s normal workflow, Barnett said.
Animal control officers would have been in and out of the kennel during the day Friday, but the officer parked in a place where no one could hear Urso if he was barking, Barnett said.
Because there is no official log at the kennel, there is no way to track exactly why a dog is not at the kennel at a given time, he said. For instance, an officer might take the dog to a veterinarian right after a shift, Barnett added.
This is the first time a Montgomery police dog has died in this manner, he said.
Urso, a German shepherd, joined the department four years ago after being trained at a facility in North Carolina.
The Police Department has a total of 12 police dogs, including 11 patrol dogs and one bloodhound.
In a statement, Police Chief Arthur Baylor expressed his gratitude to Urso for his service to the department.