Friday, 3 July 2009
Dogs die in hot car
Two police dogs died in the heatwave after being left in a car by their handler.
The German Shepherds, which had been donated to Nottinghamshire Police, were found dead outside the force's headquarters.
It is believed their handler was not on duty and called into the offices leaving the dogs to over-heat. It is unclear how long the animals had been left in the car in Sherwood Lodge, Arnold, on Tuesday where temperatures reached 28C. The RSPCA said temperatures inside the car could have been 47C.
The dogs were donated to carry out police work, including tracking down criminals and providing security. The Independent Police Complaints Commission said it received a referral from the force and is deciding whether to launch an inquiry. The RSPCA is investigating.
The maximum sentence for causing unnecessary suffering to an animal is six months in jail and a £20,000 fine.
The handler has not been suspended.
I will not say what I really feel about this but I must admit it is just unbelievable. Police dog handlers are trained to work with dogs, to live with dogs and to look after them. These dogs are highly trained and do fantastic work. They love their work and only do it to please their handler. That’s how a dog works. When you teach a dog anything from a simple trick such as responding to the command “sit” to retrieving game or finding drugs in suitcases or tracking for missing people or finding avalanche victims or guiding the blind, the dog does it to please his handler, the person he is working with and the person he trusts with his life.
As a dog trainer, I do warn people about leaving dogs in cars. I find it unacceptable that a person who has had training and whose job it to work with dogs, is guilty of negligence and unprofessional behaviour.
PS: I find it strange that this incident is not widely reported in the British press.