K-9 dies in hot police car after being trapped for 10 hours

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By Jareen Imam

CNN

(CNN) — A police K-9 died Thursday evening after being left for hours inside his handler’s patrol car.

Zane, a 5-year-old bloodhound, was found dead at the handler’s residence in Rockdale County, Georgia, according to Conyers Police Department spokeswoman Kim Lucas.

The bloodhound worked as a tracking dog with the department for four years, three with his handler, Cpl. Jerahmy Williams.

The Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office responded to Williams’ home Thursday and is conducting an investigation with the county district attorney’s office.

Williams came home from a 12-hour shift at work and went to sleep feeling ill, according to Lucas. When Williams was getting ready for work in the afternoon, he discovered Zane dead inside his SUV, which was parked in his driveway. The dog had been in the car about 10 hours, Lucas said.

Williams called his immediate supervisor to report the incident.

“We are committed to the care and proper treatment of our working K-9s. We are mourning the loss of our own,” Police Chief Gene Wilson said.

Wilson announced Friday during a press conference that the department will look into a device that is used in daycare vans in order to keep their K-9s safe.

“It’s like a kill switch for the vehicle,” Lucas said. “A person will have to physically go to the rear of the vehicle and see the dog before turning off the ignition.”

Wilson also mention in the conference that he believed Zane’s death was an accident.

Williams’ car did have a device known as a “Hot-N-Pop,” which is an alarm that would alert the officer of the car’s temperature and roll the windows down for the canine. But the device was not activated because the ignition was turned off.

Commenters on Conyers Police Department Facebook page were critical of the police department, demanding the officer be charged with animal cruelty.

Williams, who has been with the police department for five years, is on administrative leave with pay, pending on the outcome of an internal investigation.

CNN’s John Newsome contributed to this story.

15 comments

  • maddoglover

    Why would this officer leave that poor dog in that vehicle for hours without checking on it? He set that dog up to die. 10 hours locked in that car or truck with no access to the bathroom probably no water what a loser of a cop. I thought the police are suppose to set examples? Fine example officer

  • travis

    that cop needs to be locked up cause hitting or any other type of abuse on a cop dog will land a normal person in jail cops are not above the law and should not be givin any type of better treatment in anyway for any incident or crime

  • Shammy

    It was not intentional and was not done maliciously, I’m sure this officer has lost his best friend and learned a very valuable lesson from it.

  • Weston Davis-Ingramm

    As usual, the system is a joke. Any of us regular citizens would be charged with killing an officer but he won’t. Surprise, surprise, cops above the law again.

  • Coleton

    It shouldn’t matter if it was an accident or not. He should be charged. He would be charged if it was a child.

  • ray sabisch

    that animal abusing cop thing best be charged with 1 st degree animal cruelty charges with no malice to the life of a animal it needs to be a mandatory 10 yr prison sentence after good time and only doing about a third he’ll be out in 10YRS it’s flat 10

  • ray sabisch

    You know What hog tie that dog killing thing and put it in the back of that same cop car in the same dog cage for 10 hours straight or until it does which ever comes last just like he did to that poor dog intenionaly and maliciously he did this for the soul purpose to kill that poor dog.

  • Forrest Phelps-Cook

    Put the police officer in a hot car and LEAVE HIM THERE. There is NO excuse for this.

  • OutsideObserver

    Leaving your partner in the car to die because you “didn’t feel well.” Nice. I can’t fathom forgetting that the animal you spend every workday with–the one who makes your job possible–is in your car, but I’m not a Georgia police officer.

    The average cost to purchase and train a police K9 runs about $17000 – this idiot should be forced to repay the county. He should also be demoted and barred from ever handling a K9 again.

  • domenique

    he should be charge or leaving a dog on a car to die, even if he was ill dogs are not the hard to notice and he should of have put him in the backyard or something; this is animal cruelty

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