Long Beach police are investigating the death of a police dog who was found alone inside a department-issued vehicle, officials said Friday.
“The #LBPD is extremely saddened to announce the death of K-9 Ozzy,” The Long Beach Police Department tweeted Friday. “At the time, Ozzy & his handler were both off-duty and Ozzy was inside the officer’s department issued K-9 vehicle. The death was immediately reported to the LBPD and a review into the circumstances was initiated.”
Ozzy was found dead by his handler Aug. 14, LBPD spokeswoman Shaunna Dandoy told the Long Beach Post.
“A local veterinarian examined Ozzy and the preliminary results determined the cause of death to be heat-related,” she said.
“All circumstances surrounding the death, including possible equipment or mechanical failures, are being reviewed,” Dandoy said.
Long Beach said later Friday that their K-9 vehicles are equipped with an alert system that’s meant to prevent tragedies such as this, but they believe the alert may not have been working for this vehicle.
They also asked for respect and privacy for the handler and department.
“Our department is mourning Ozzy’s loss as we would with any of our employees, our K-9’s are an indispensable part of our department, and we will continue to view them as partners,” the department said.
The department also said all K-9 handlers going forward would be checking their Heat System Controller before every shift, as they usually do.