Zak… Killed by his human partner… You notice his vest says Sheriff… Not Dog
Zak was left in their hot cruiser to suffer and then found dead
MERCER COUNTY, Ohio —
Authorities in Mercer County said a county K-9 unit died Wednesday after his handler left him in a patrol car, prompting the sheriff to suspend the program during the investigation.
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey said Deputy Chad Fortkamp left his K-9 unit, Zak, (Here is the problem right here… they consider their K9 Officers as units instead of living creatures and their partners…) in his patrol car while he completed the reconstruction of a traffic crash at the office around 1:00 p.m.
“When at the office, the car is either left running with air conditioning on or Zak comes into the building,” said Grey. “The car was not running and it appears that Zak was overcome by the heat.”
After an autopsy, Zak, who suffered from a pre-existing heart condition, is believed to have died after being aggravated by the temperature of the car. The K-9 Unit’s Veterinarian stated that even a perfectly healthy dog may have not survived the heat.
A thorough investigation into why the dog was in the car and why the car did not have the air conditioning running will be completed, said Grey.
The results of the investigation will be released upon its completion when a decision for disciplinary action against Fortkamp will be determined.
“I am deeply disappointed and apologize to the members of the Moose Lodge, the Eagles of Celina and others who helped fund the K-9 program,” said Grey.
In 2010 the Moose Lodge donated $5,000 to the program in addition to the $1,500 from the Eagles of Celina for the purchase of Zak.
The Sheriff’s Office plans to suspend the K-9 program until further notice after losing two dogs within the last three years.
Really… I’m sorry?!? The officer is a trained dog handler… and he leaves his dog out in the car in the heat in the middle of the summer? The guy just killed his partner… I believe they called that man… uh, dog slaughter as well as dereliction of duty and cruelty to animals… to start with. And this department has lost K9 Officers in 3-years. K9 officers, all dogs, deserve better.
I say jail time, lost of his shield, and fines plus supervised volunteer work with animals indefinitely after he gets out!!
Please contact the State of Ohio, Mercer County and the Sheriff’s department as well as the local humane society and insist they prosecute Deputy Chad Fortkamp and the Officer involved in the former lost/killed dog.
Remember, these are same officers that probably wouldn’t cut you an ounce of slack if you were jay-walking!
Cruelty Alert: Pets Suffering from Heatstroke in Parked Cars
As many parts of the country struggle with recent heat waves, we’ve all seen the disturbing news reports of pets, mostly dogs, dying from heatstroke as a result of being left in parked cars. Just last week, a Bronx, NY, man left his Maltese in his van—with the windows cracked—while he went for a swim at a state park. The temperature inside the van climbed to 140 degrees and despite intervention by park police, the dog didn’t survive.
Even on a relatively mild 85-degree day, it takes only 10 minutes for the interior of a car to reach 102 degrees—and within 30 minutes, the inside of the car can be a staggering 120 degrees. Leaving windows open a few inches does not help. Furthermore, when it comes to the body’s ability to cool itself, canine physiology is vastly different from ours. While humans have sweat glands all over our bodies that help regulate our body heat, dogs cool down mostly by panting, which is much less efficient than sweating. In only a short amount of time, a dog with a high body temperature can suffer critical damage to his nervous system, heart, liver and brain.
At least 14 states and many municipalities have enacted laws to address the problem of animals left in cars in extreme temperatures. Under these laws, police, animal control agents, peace officers and others may be authorized to enter a vehicle by whatever means necessary to remove an animal. “I would recommend that if your state doesn’t have a specific law addressing animals left in hot cars that you still call law enforcement, because it may be considered animal cruelty under your state or local laws,” says Jill Buckley, Senior Director of ASPCA Government Relations & Mediation.
If you’re out and about on a hot day and see an animal alone in a car, you should immediately try to find the car’s owner. If you have no luck, or if the owner refuses to act, contact local law enforcement and/or animal control.
“The important thing is to get the dog out of the car, keeping in mind that you shouldn’t put your life in danger, either!” says Buckley, who keeps a few copies of the ASPCA’s suggested Pets in Hot Cars flyers that she she has made up herself (or picked up from some animal shelters, ASPCA’s and rescues) in her glovebox to give out when appropriate.
See: Temperatures Are Rising: Be a Dog Defender: Help Save Animals This Summer! Cool Ideas for Hot Dogs – Please be proactive and vocal… you could be saving a life and definitely saving animals of a lot of suffering!!
Please contact the State of Ohio, Mercer County and the Sheriff’s department as well as the local humane society and insist they prosecute Deputy Chad Fortkamp and the Officer involved in the former lost/killed dog. It is time toughen animal abuse laws and sentences everywhere!