MEDINA, Ohio (AP) — A police dog in northeast Ohio died from heatstroke after being left in a police cruiser for more than four hours last month, officials said.
The Montville Township police department K-9, Beny, died on Sept. 28 after Sgt. Brett Harrison left the dog in a cruiser in the station parking lot from about 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to a statement from police Tuesday. The cruiser was off and the windows were closed.
An administrative investigation concluded Harrison violated policy and procedures. He received a two-week unpaid suspension and lost 40 hours of vacation.
Police Chief Terry Grice told The Medina Gazette (http://bit.ly/1scc3Ju) the dog's death was an accident and security camera video showed Harrison panicking after he realized what had happened.
Harrison issued a statement Tuesday night expressing his "deepest apology" to Montville Township and to his "partner, friend and loving family member Beny."
The police department referred the case to the Medina County Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for review. The nonprofit group will conduct an investigation that could ultimately lead to criminal charges.
Beny, a two-year-old German shepherd, joined the Montville Township police department near Medina about a year ago.
Harrison was hired with the department in 2007. Grice said in a statement that Harrison cared deeply about Beny and is overwhelmed with grief.