K-9 dies of heat-related illness after being left in handler's patrol car

LONG BEACH, California -- The Long Beach Police Department announced Friday that one of their police dogs died inside a department vehicle last week.

Police said the dog, named Ozzy, and his handler were both off duty when this happened on Aug. 14. The dog was inside the officer's department-issued K-9 vehicle, and it was the handler who found the dog, according to a statement from the department.

The preliminary results from a local veterinarian determined the cause of death to be heat related, police said.

The department issued a written statement that reads in part: "...this unfortunate incident was not intentional, preliminary we believe this was an accident and we are taking all the necessary steps to avoid this happening in the future."

The statement added that every K-9 vehicle is outfitted with a Heat System Controller that may not have been working at the time of the incident. As a result, all patrol K-9 handlers are checking the system before every shift.

Further details surrounding the circumstances of the accident were not available. Long Beach police say the whole incident is now being reviewed.

City News Service contributed to this report.
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