Thursday, July 19, 2018

K-9 Dies of Heatstroke

A Hinds County K-9 Officer died of heatstroke in June after his vehicle inexplicably shut down while he was in the car. 

Multiple sources told this correspondent that the dog's handler stopped at a restaurant and left the dog inside of his vehicle with the engine and its electrical operations running as is standard procedure when  leaving the the K-9 officer in the vehicle.  However, the vehicle somehow shut down.  The 5 1/2 year old Belgium German Shepherd, Dex, died of heatstroke.  Dex was assigned to Deputy Lafayette Martin. 

The Hinds County Sheriff's Office refused to provide any records of the incident when this correspondent submitted a public records request.  HSCO replied:

Attached are the documents associated with your request. At this time, we are unable to disclose records relating to the K-9 Officer Dex, as this matter is still under investigation and there is possible litigation with Chevy due to the fact that there was a malfunction in the vehicle.
HCSO provided a copy of the cremation invoice.  Best Friends performed the service at not cost on June 14.

This correspondent submitted a public records request to Hinds County for a copy of all invoices or purchasing orders for heater alarms.  Most law enforcement agencies have purchased the devices and installed them in K-9 vehicles.  The alarm is triggered when the temperature rises to a pre-set level in the K-9 vehicle.  Different models offer various options.  Some will set off the horn or a siren.  Other models will trigger an alarm and roll down the windows.  One version sets off a remote unit that the handler wears on his belt.  It will beep and vibrate to alert the handler.  They cost from $400 to $1000 dollars and take up to a day to install.  However, law enforcement agencies can order brand new vehicles with the heater alarm installed at the factory.

The public records request yielded no purchasing orders or invoices for heater alarms.  Thus, there is a chance that the vehicle that became Dex's coffin had no heater alarm.

Kingfish note: There is no excuse for this tragedy. None.  Here is the perfect remedy for the Sheriff and the so-called handler.


Anonymous said...

What costs were associated with the purchase and training of Dex? Namely, what investment into public safety could $400 have protected? This tragedy could have been avoided. Alas.

Anonymous said...

Hinds county can't keep inmates inside of the jail, what makes anyone think they can remember to keep a vehicle running with a dog inside.

Anonymous said...

Frustrating? Yes. Avoidable? Yes. Surprising? No. Babs sez: "What's the problem? Ain't nothin' butta dog."

Anonymous said...

Boy if i was a dog i sure wouldn't want to be a police dog. If i left my dog in the car and this happened i would be charged.This happens all the time with the police but nothing's ever done about it.

Anonymous said...

If any of us had killed a police dog like this, we would go to jail. But since cops are above the law, no charges will be filed.

Anonymous said...

That is tragic. But I know the K9 handlers love those dogs. I'm sure he is torn up about it if this is really how it went down.

Kingfish said...

You are correct. Sure he feels bad. But we still have a dog who died miserably.

Anonymous said...

Not the first time this has happened in the State. Agency, IMHO, carries the blame to the greatest extent. Vehicle should have been properly equipped with a heat alarm.

Anonymous said...

I know Deputy Martin personally and this broke him to pieces. This dog was his best friend and it hurt him immensely to have to bury him. He carries this guilt every single day. He is a fine officer and human, this was a tragic accident. All of you who are so quick to judge, I pray to God you never have to go through an experience such as this (with a dog or worse, a child).

Kingfish said...

Am sure it did. Seriously. However, the question needs to be asked if the vehicle had a heat alarm and if it didn't, then why not? If it didn't have one, they why not check every so often. Pain in the ass but not as painful as losing what was almost a loved one.

Anonymous said...

Let's find out what actually happened. Today's vehicles are so complex anything is possible. Plus, the upfitting process (lights, siren, misc.) is fertile ground for making mistakes that show up later on as problems.

Also, did it run out of gas?

So sad for the animal.

Anonymous said...

Not many dogs, nor people, die happily.

Kingfish said...

Hard to find out what happened when they don't want to talk or disclose anything.

Anonymous said...

What about the animals in the zoo that got ate by wild dogs?

What about cats that get run over?

Its tough being a cat or dog.

Anonymous said...

"If it didn't have one, they why not check every so often"

Do we know for sure that he didn't check often? I know it only takes seconds for a tragedy like this to happen.

I met officer Martin over the summer and he seemed like a genuinely kind and caring person. We had a great conversation and I just can't imagine him having to go through this.

Anonymous said...

When is the High Sheriff going to install alarms to prevent this from happening again.
What a horrible way for an animal to die.

Anonymous said...

Poor Puppy.All life if fragile. These tough acting police are real dumb asses. Hope we don't get stopped by one. And yes, I am Black & very paranoid of police & white folk.

Anonymous said...

Deputy Martin is a very fine officer who truly cares for his k-9 partner. We are all animal lovers, but this is an unfair article, Kingfish. And I think you know it. This was an absolute tragedy that was due to a malfunction in the vehicle. You’re better than this “reporting.”

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, caring for something is not an empowering act in and of itself. Farmers care for their cows until they are sent off to market. Dogs deserve an equal protection as children when it comes to being left in the car to die. After all, dogs are often equal, if not superior, in their development compared to the infant human species.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but it's hard to believe the dog was in the car with the engine off for 1 hour and died of a heat stroke. Those cars are kept cool and the windows are very dark. At best after the engine cut off, it was cool for at least 30 mins. I know my personal truck will still be cool for about 30 mins(even in this hot sun) after I hop out and get back in. An in shape police dog doesn't die in the heat like this unless said office took a pretty long lunch break.

Kingfish said...

Unfair? The public doesn't have a right to know that a K-9 officer died of heatstroke? First of all, that poor dog died a horrible death. Who did he belong to? The fucking public. The public also has a right to know that the Sheriff's employees lost an asset worth $15-20,000.

The public also has a right to know if a heater alarm was installed in the vehicle, which would have probably prevented the poor pooch's death.

But you see, that is the problem with too many of you boyz in blue. You don't think you are accountable to anyone nor should be. You try to exempt yourselves from as many public records laws as possible. You try to be a privileged class. 911 calls? Make them private. You fought making police reports public in the legislature.

Do you realize that if the Parkland massacre had happened here, we would not know about all of the law enforcement screwups and cowardice that took place because in Mississippi, the boyz in blue have managed to exempt themselves from most public records laws through either the "employment" or the "investigation" exemptions.

Sorry, buttercup, the SO should answer questions and be held accountable for Dex's death.

Anonymous said...

Interesting statement and photo of kennel with bobbed wire you posted in your article.
Signed:L.T. M. II

Fake Sen. Blackmon said...

I don’t see what all of the hullabaloo is about here???

Anonymous said...

Human beings get killed by the police damn near everyday under very dubious circumstance and here ya'll are belly aching over a so-termed taxpayer "asset". Boohoo! If this cop really gave a damn about his dog's life, he wouldn't have left it in the car in the dead of summer while ate lunch PERIOD. Seriously, he's up in an air conditioned eatery filling his gut, while his dog is cooking and we should be sympathetic because his a "nice guy." Ok, well he's a nice guy with shitty selfish judgment. A damn heat alarm is irrelevant to the equation if he really valued life. Cops need to stop all the bs dancing and lip syncing on Youtube and handle their damn jobs with some responsibility to the communities they serve. If I want to see untalented silly shit, I can flip on American Idol or something.

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is that more hell will be raised over this than over a human being killed by one of Hinds county's "cCatch and Release" thugs.

Anonymous said...

Sad thing is that when Victor took over he had six K9's that were under 5 years old. They only have one left. I understand they put two down and another one also died of heat stroke. Since then they have bought one more dog. They should not be allowed to have any dogs until they learn how to care for them.

Anonymous said...

Amen 12:49
The dog should have been sitting at attention by the officer's side while he ate. You see these "com-panion" dogs inside airports and on planes and everywhere else.....a dog, baby, purse, golf clubs in a parked car is asking for trouble.... morons

Anonymous said...


Hope you enjoyed your lunch!

Anonymous said...

Time marches on. Nothing ever changes in this state. Ignorant people. Ignorant state. The comedian Jerry Lewis had it correct when he said that his greatest delight would be to pee while flying over Mississippi. My sentiments exactly.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to Jackson where everything is run like a zoo (except the zoo). The police let K9 dogs fry in their automobiles. Children have been warned about drinking the city water and the water department wants to sue Rankin county for wanting their own systems. The streets look and ride like the streets in Berlin Germany at the end of World War 2. The city council meetings are like a slapstick vaudeville performance. Taxes are way out of whack. The school system is full of cronyism, graft and corruption. The city's bond ratings are abysmal and they want to issue more bonds which magically will cost the city nothing.

Anonymous said...

Google "police K9 dies in hot car". It happens more than you would think. Just recently happened in Southaven.

Anonymous said...

KF...@ 11:46

Good post.

Now that I think about this a little more, I don't believe that K-9 died in an hour. Is it possible? Yes. Is it possible the handler is lying about the one hour time period? Yes.

I don't believe the car turned itself off.

My money's on the possibility the officer went inside and forgot the car was running with the K-9 inside. Ultimately, it ran out of fuel and this caused the heat condition (no a/c).

The cop is lying and Victor's covering for him. No surprise here.

Anonymous said...

What a completely crazy policy. The dog handler does perhaps bear some responsibility, but if he was doing what the department outlined for him to do there would be no reason he'd think it was dangerous. I imagine he is very disturbed by the dog's death. What do other cities do in regards leaving canine officers in unattended cars? Why would the dog not have been able to enter the restaurant with the officer? It's a service dog. Could the department have a policy of drive-thru dining only with dog in car? What does Jax plan to do about this? I travel only a bit, but in both Washington D.C. and Little Rock AR seeing dogs with LawEnforcement vests is common. They seem to accompany their handlers inside buildings where they may or may not be working. Have seen one in a drs office - and I don't think that dog was going for human eye, ear, nose & throat help. I have NEVER seen one locked in a vehicle anywhere. Please stay on this issue - you seem to be able to get answers when others can't. R.I.P. Dex.

Anonymous said...

Would be interesting to see the gps coordinate when the car turned off.

Anonymous said...

This is a clear case of irresponsibility, this same officer through evidence in a dumpster and Sheriff Mason was notified and did absolutely nothing about. These were open narcotic cases dated back from 2015 bags containing drugs and guns. I worked with this officer before, and had the opportunity to help this officer throughout his career, my heart goes out for the K-9. As far as the officer not so great, know the entire story before you comment on how great of an officer he is. I'm just glad to be gone from that place enjoying my life.

Fake Sen. Blackmon said...

Don’t worry, Deputy Martin. I’ve got your back. This happens to me all the time.

Anonymous said...

U B right about the GPS coordinates...never will see them...this seems to be an epidemic in the deaths of K9s...always the vehicles fault...

The sole remaining canine deputy of the Lauderdale County Sheriff's Department died Sunday after a car alarm failed to notify deputies that the engine had failed with the dog locked inside.

Southaven Police Department Chief Steve Pirtle said the officer will not be charged with a crime. The officer remains on the force and is not on administrative leave.

Gunner, a 6-year-old mixed Labrador, spent two hours locked in a police cruiser Tuesday while his handler was inside filling out paperwork. Gunner died in the car from heat-related injuries.

Oct 2016...USA Today
At least a dozen working canines have perished of heat-related conditions so far, the most since People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) started tracking the incidents in 2012.

An Arizona Department of Public Safety dog was euthanized Thursday afternoon after being left unattended in a hot squad car in Tucson the previous day.

Anonymous said...

July 2018
In the July 8 incident, six crated German shepherds and Belgian Malinois were put in an air-conditioned van as their kennels were cleaned by employees at Academi Training in Moyock, N.C., according to reports.

But when the dogs were checked on 35 minutes later, they were all dead. The air conditioning in the van had apparently failed and the dogs died from the heat, which had reached 90 degrees outside that day, officials said.

Anonymous said...

A life was lost and a responsible adult was in charge of protecting that life.
The deputy failed miserably. Granted he is in pain and grieving over his loss but this is a lesson he should have learned before an innocent dog had to suffer a horrible death .
If law enforcement should have learned one thing it is leaving vehicles on with AC activated is NOT a solution. I can think of two recent news articles of this very issue and both resulted in loss of dogs lives.
Solution if you have a K-9 unit you get lunch to go or the dog goes in with you!!
Easily distracted idiots like this should not have responsibility for any living thing!

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what to make of this. If the officer did love the dog, he is torn up over it, and he just made a terrible mistake, he has my deepest sympathy.

What I would do if I were in command of a LE department: Issue an order that if my K9s weren't welcome in a restaurant, my officers were not allowed to eat there during on-duty meal breaks (what they did while off-duty was their business).

What I would do if I owned a restaurant: I would be not only welcome K9s, I'd make special accommodations for them, including food (if permissible) and water.

What I will do with my own money, and since I can control such things, any funds over which I have control: If I got verified info that a restaurant refused to allow a K9 to be on the premise, I will refuse to patronize that restaurant for any reason at any time, I will prohibit any firm funds being spent there for any reason, and I would explain to anyone outside of the firm who suggested that restaurant why neither my money or firm money will be spent there. If a client still insisted, I'd fire that client. And if I discovered that someone violated that rule, I'd fire them. What they did on their own time would be their business, but it would not endear them to me to discover they patronized that establishment.

And yes, this post is intentionally anonymous - that way, restaurants and anyone with a boss who happens to read this might wish to consider carefully their actions in this regard.

Anonymous said...

Why are police dogs so much more special that every day, run-of-the-mill dogs? Hell, they get euthanized, run over and abused every day, but because this one is deputized, he is special? Nope.

Go to the pound and adopt a few dogs and then you are qualified to post crap about the plight of dogs.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 7:20 & previous posters that any/ALL officers should treat their K9 like a child.

Would you go in a building ANYWHERE & not be concerned that 'your child' in out in the car waiting for you? Even for short, 3-5 minute durations...? No excuse, these officers/people are not worthy & responsible to be officers and/or parents.

If they don't have the common sense that (even) 10-20 minutes is an "Oh gosh.. I forgot about my dog...or kid out in the car I need to check on!!..."

Anonymous said...

July 19, 2018 at 9:26 PM wrote:

"Why are police dogs so much more special that every day, run-of-the-mill dogs? Hell, they get euthanized, run over and abused every day, but because this one is deputized, he is special? Nope.

Go to the pound and adopt a few dogs and then you are qualified to post crap about the plight of dogs."

Assuming this isn't a troll and assuming you aren't a moron, you may wish to reconsider. First and foremost, anyone who would abuse an animal is likely a clinical psychopath or sociopath, but that is not likely the case here. As to adopting dogs (or cats), we are in agreement there.

However, K9s and other (real) service dogs are special and for a number of reasons. If nothing else, K9s are large investments of public funds. As such and if nothing else, they ought to be treated as very expensive equipment. But beyond that, K9s have repeatedly demonstrated their unwavering commitment to duty and done so at disregard of their own safety and lives. A K9 is not a "dog," at least not while on duty, he or she is highly-trained law enforcement officer and should be entitled to enter any premise any other officer is entitled to enter.

Moreover, a K9 is at the very least and by any reasonable definition a "service animal" and it is not legal to refuse admission to a "service animal" except in very limited circumstances. Any business premise that denies entrance to an on-duty K9, even as a "customer" with his or her human partner, would be (and should be) risking civil and possible criminal consequences. Bottom line: if you are not comfortable sharing a building with a police officer, human or canine, you need to leave, not either of them. And nope, I'm not a cop nor have I ever been.

Just something for appropriate parties to consider.

RIP Buddy.. said...

I call bullshit. How often does a car or van's air conditioning system and ignition system simply 'fail' and shut down when the vehicle is left running.

Regardless of how nice a guy he is or whether he's 'broken up' about this, he lied. The car was NOT left running with the A/C on.

Would have been nice had somebody busted out the police vehicle's window to save the dog. But he would have gone to jail.

Anonymous said...

In the officers defense, my automobile, (2016 ford) will automatically cut off after running in neutral for about 15 minutes. My question and I am pretty sure I will not get a definitive answer is "WHERE WAS THIS OFFICER". I don't believe he was in a diner, but if he was, let us know. These cars have gps on them. I have my on suspicions of where he may have been doing, and it isn't very nice.

Anonymous said...

If you have noticed how many of the sheriff/police vehicles completely ignore the "tint law" you would realize why no-one broke the windows out.

Anonymous said...

10:55 PM, A K9 is not a "dog," at least not while on duty, he or she is highly-trained law enforcement officer and should be entitled to enter any premise any other officer is entitled to enter.

How many police officers do you see left setting in the car when the other officer is inside eating?

Kingfish said...

Received intel last night that the deputy in question actually requested the installation of the alarm but the repeated requests fell on deaf ears.

Anonymous said...

I have personally witnessed this SO vehicle run continuously for hours. It never cut off.

Obviously an unfortunate situation; however, the real tragedy is Sheriff Mason’s inability to run this organization. He allows an under-sheriff to run the show. The petty politics in Mason’s administration is pitiful. Good deputies that should be on the street are turned into jailers! Deputies using their badge and position to intimidate some business owners while helping other business owners. I know this to be factual because I was their victim. I will never invest another dollar in Hinds County. This county and city needs a savior.

Anonymous said...

KF 10:47 That doesn't make sense.

Since/If he was aware of danger, surely you would think he'd be checking on his dog in short intervals.. until the time he finally got an alarm installed, right?

Doesn't make sense.

Anonymous said...

July 20 at 11:25 AM wrote, "This county and city needs a savior."

This state needs an enema and the Jackson metro area is a short-list choice for best insertion point. The curious part is while many in the Jackson area seem to be fine with the state being last on all sorts of other lists, they seem determined to fight to the top of that short list.

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