LONG BEACH, Calif. — A California K9 officer passed away after being left in his handler’s department-issued vehicle, according to the Long Beach Police Department.
LBPD took to social media Friday saying they are “extremely saddened to announce the death of K-9 Ozzy.”
K9 Ozzy and his handler were off-duty when the dog was found dead on the afternoon of Wednesday, August 14. His handler immediately reported the death to the LBPD and an investigation is underway.
“A veterinarian examination of Ozzy and the preliminary results determined the cause of death to be heat-related,” Long Beach police public information officer Arantxa Chavarria told the Los Angeles Times in a statement. “Our K-9 vehicles are outfitted with fail-safe equipment that is meant to generate an alert. At this time, we believe this alert may not have been working.”
Adding that the equipment includes a heat-controller system that signals when the vehicle is getting too warm. Officials did not confirm if it is standard practice for a K9 to be left alone in department-issued vehicles.
According to the newspaper, midafternoon temperatures in Long Beach the day of K9 Ozzy’s death were between 81 and 84 degrees.