Police dog dies after left in patrol car
01:34 PM CDT on Saturday, July 31, 2004
By JASON TRAHAN / The Dallas Morning News
An 8-year-old Dallas police German shepherd died Friday after his handler, a 23-year department veteran, left him in a patrol car.
The tactical officer discovered the dog in the back seat of his patrol car at about 7 p.m. Friday after a neighbor knocked alerted him that he left some car lights on.
“He’s distraught,” Deputy Chief Alfredo Saldana said . “Officers bond with these animals. People around here feel like we lost a member of the department.”
The officer had arrived at his home on San Patricio Drive near Garland Road just after his shift ended at 3 p.m. He and the dog, which was trained to detect explosives, had been training since 7 a.m. at Love Field, police said.
The Dallas high temperature Friday was 91 degrees.
A vice president of the Dallas chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals called the incident “unconscionable."
“He should be charged criminally,” said Dave Garcia, who investigates animal cruelty cases for the SPCA of Texas. “If John Q. Public did this, they would be charged, and so should this officer. It’s a K-9 officer. That person has to be held to a higher standard than anyone else on something like this.”