Police K-9 dies after being left in hot patrol car

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — A police K-9 died after its handler left the dog in the back of a patrol car for nearly three hours.

The Cherokee County Marshal’s Office and the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office were called out to the home of Cherokee County School Police Lt. Daniel Peabody Friday after getting a call that the police dog had died, WSB-TV reports.

Peabody arrived home around 4:15 p.m. and left the 4-year-old Belgian Malinois named Inka in the back of the car, with the engine turned off, while he dealt with another dog inside his home.

“He gets out, turns the car off, gets busy with his wife helping another dog, and apparently he simply forgot about the dog, accidentally,” said Cherokee County Marshal’s Office Chief Ron Hunton.

Around 7 p.m., the officer remembered he left Inka in the car and found the dog dead.

Temperatures that day reached the 90s, and Hunton says it got much warmer inside the car.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, Peabody let another officer use his K-9 squad car and was driving a regular patrol car. Another department vehicle outfitted to handle a K-9 officer was out of service.

A Marshal’s Office spokesman says criminal charges are possible in this case, but explained the department’s investigation is not complete.