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K-9 officer will face no charges in dog’s death

No charges will be filed against the Alameda K-9 officer whose dog died after he left it unattended for more than three hours in his vehicle, the Alameda County district attorney’s office says.

“It is very tragic when an animal dies under these circumstances, but there is insufficient evidence to prove that the officer acted unreasonably based upon all the evidence presented in the case,” Assistant District Attorney Charlotte Green said in a written statement on Monday.

An internal police investigation into the actions of the unnamed police officer is still pending, according to the San Jose Mercury-News.

(Apparently the dog’s name isn’t being released either. Not a single newspaper report seems to mention it.)

The officer was attending a training exercise May 5 when he left the animal in his personal vehicle for about three hours and 15 minutes, police said. Temperatures that day were around 70 degrees in the Bay area, and police say the officer did leave his windows cracked.

Nevertheless, when he returned, the 6 1/2-year Belgian Malinois was in distress. The dog was taken to the Bay Area Veterinary Emergency Clinic in San Leandro, where it died.

The officer remains on duty.


Comment from Lisa McKnight
Time June 2, 2009 at 9:05 am

No charges and still working? This is crazy! I’m sure this dog was well trained and cost the city/county money to purchase and they give it to a neglectful idiot?!?! This dog suffered as a child left in a car suffers. Dog feel pain! There should be charges and he should be off work without pay until they find him guilty and lock him up. Do they just give dogs to idiots without training the idiot how to take care of a dog and show it love and compassion. When it comes to a dog, there is nothing in this world that loves you more than it loves itself and this is how they allow it to be treated and killed? This case just shows animal abusers that the police don’t care! This is a sad sad world if we let this happen.

Comment from Donna Gandour
Time June 2, 2009 at 10:46 pm

This is unbelievable for him not to be charged any wrongdoing. Especially since he’s a “professional” dog handler. There have been studies that show that even at 70, the inside temp increases up to 30 degrees in only 20 minutes and that cracking the windows does little to slow the temperature increase.
See the link: http://ggweather.com/heat/

That poor dog died in agony.

Comment from Justin
Time June 3, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I live in San Francisco and there has been a ton of coverage around this story. As much as people want to see the officer charged in this case it won’t bring back the dog. I do would like to see some charges brought but I would rather see these tragic circumstances shed light on the dangers of leaving your dog in the car, or leaving them outside stores and restaurants. Thanks for covering the case.


Comment from bjsvec
Time June 3, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Here is contact info for Charlette Green, the Alameda DA that decided not to prosecute. Let her know how you feel about her decision. Do you think if this officer found your pet in distress or dead in your car you would not be prosecuted? I still can’t understand how they can withhold the name of the officer and dog from the public..

Mailing address: George E. McDonald Hall of Justice
2233 Shoreline Dr., Alameda, CA 94501

Phone:(510) 268-7596
FAX: (510) 522-7736
Branch Head: Charlette Green, Senior Deputy District Attorney I

Comment from Jennifer
Time June 3, 2009 at 8:24 pm

I have to laugh at the “justice is blind” theme in the news lately over Sotomeyer. It seems there is a different justice for the police. On the facts released, I cannot understand why a professional handler could not make other arrangements for an obviously non-emergency activity. There must not be a very good explanation, as it has not been made public.