A police K-9 was found dead in a patrol car Friday evening after spending several hours in the hot vehicle. According to a preliminary investigation by officials in Cherokee County, Ga., the 4-year-old Belgian Malinois named Inca was left in an officer’s patrol car while responding to the home of an unidentified school resource officer. The officer claims he was dealing with another dog inside the home.
11 Alive News reports that around 7 p.m., approximately three hours after entering the home, the officer remembered Inca was still in the car and tragically found the canine dead in the backseat. Temperatures in Cherokee County had climbed to the low 90s Friday afternoon.
Inca was taken to the University of Georgia for necropsy to determine the official cause of death, Fox 5 Atlanta reports. Officials investigating the death would not immediately confirm who was responsible for Inca’s death.
Inca was one of the two canines at the Cherokee County School District Police Department. According to 11 Alive News, the canine unit was created in 2007 to deter the possession, use and sale of illegal substances on school campuses. Along with Officer Eric Maddox and K-9 Ayla, Inca and his partner, Cherokee County Lt. Dan Peabody, conducted sweeps of vehicles, lockers, and classrooms.
The Humane Society suggests if you see a dog locked in a car to call your local police or animal control.
UPDATE 6/11/16 7:20 p.m.
The CCSD sent the following comment to Complex.
The CCSD family is mourning the tragic loss of K9 police dog, Inka. She served her community well and was loved by many, especially our students who met her through safety presentations.
Lt. Dan Peabody, who has served with the CCSD School Police Department since 2000, was immediately assigned to administrative duties only and will not be working with a canine partner. Lt. Peabody, a certified K9 handler, raised 4-year-old Inka from a puppy and trained her to serve with him, to track and to detect narcotics.
In addition to the Marshal's Office investigation, the CCSD is conducting an administrative inquiry and will be reviewing the K9 unit's practices.