Police Dog Dies After Being Left In Hot Cruiser

An Ohio police dog died from heatstroke after being left in his police cruiser for more than four hours last month and now his partner may be facing some harsh punishments for causing it.

Beny, the Monteville Township police K-9, died on September 28 after his partner, Sgt. Brett Harrison, left the dog in his cruiser in the station parking lot with the engine turned off and the windows closed from about 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to a police statement released Tuesday.

Police Chief Terry Grice commented on the dog’s death to The Medina Gazette, stating he believes the dog’s death was an accident and that Sgt. Harrison was seen on security footage in a panic after realizing what he had done. Sgt. Harrison received a two-week unpaid suspension and lost 40 hours of vacation after an administrative investigation determined he violated policy and police procedures.

Sgt. Harrison expressed his “deepest apology” to both the Montville Township and to his “partner, friend, and loving family member, Beny,” in a statement he issued Tuesday night.

At the request of the police department, the case was referred to the Medina County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for their review and assessment. Depending on the outcome of their investigation, Sgt. Harrison could face criminal charges.

Beny was only two-years-old when he died and had only served the Montville Township police department for nearly one of those years.

Harrison, a seven-year veteran of the department, was said to have cared deeply for Beny and is currently overwhelmed with grief, according to Grice.

This is not the first instance of a police dog dying as a result of being left in a hot cruiser. As recently as July, Mills, Wyoming police officer Zachary Miller left his eight-year-old female black lab named Nyx in his cruiser for six hours, leading to her death. KCWY News 13 reported the car was running, but the air conditioning was off and outside temperatures rose to nearly 90 degrees. Miller pleaded not guilty to animal cruelty charges.

John Van Zante, a member of the Rancho Coastal Humane Society in Encinitas, California, put his life on the line in a demonstration this year showing children how hot it can get in a locked car by closing himself in his truck on a day that the outside temperature was 91 degrees. Using a digital thermometer, Van Zante showed how quickly the temperatures can become lethal. Within two minutes, the temperature inside the car jumped to 113 degrees.

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