Two police dogs in the San Antonio area were found dead Thursday after being left overnight inside a hot patrol vehicle.
The K-9s apparently died from heat exposure.
The Bexar County Sheriff said it happened “inadvertently” and called it a “tragic accident.”
The deputy responsible is a 23-year-veteran of the force and has been on the K-9 unit for 13 years.
He’s been placed on leave while the department and Animal Care Services investigate.
In 2011, Texas lawmakers proposed a bill requiring heat alarms to be installed in all K-9 vehicles, but the bill was never passed.
In an interview two years ago, the K-9 deputy told local station K-E-N-S that losing one of the dogs would be just like losing a family member.
Upset animal activists are calling the sheriff’s department “irresponsible.”