“Hero” Cooks Dog…

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A Southaven, Mississippi police K-9 is dead after it was left in the back of a hot squad car.

The police chief told FOX13 the dog should have never died.

Chief Steven Pirtle said there are normally alarms in K-9 cars to prevent a tragedy like this from happening.

The alarms sound a siren and send an alert to “heroes” if the car reaches a certain temperature.

For some reason though, the car that K-9 Gunner died in Tuesday did not have the equipment installed.

Gunner was a 6-year-old lab mix that had a nose for sniffing out drugs.

The chief confirmed that Gunner was left in a squad car Tuesday that was not running.

The safety equipment designed to prevent the death was not installed either.

When Gunner’s handler, who has not been identified, realized his partner had overheated in the backseat it was too late.

He rushed the K-9 to the Horn Lake Animal Hospital. Veterinarians tried to save Gunner, but he passed away.

Chief Pirtle told FOX13 via email Thursday night that he is personally investigating why proper equipment was not installed and said he, “…fully anticipates disciplinary action.”

People in the community also wanted someone held responsible.

“Punish him to the fullest extent as if I left the dog in the back,” said one┬áSouthaven resident.

It is unclear what Gunner’s handler was doing while the car was turned off, but if he is found responsible, the Southaven PD may lose another officer from their department.


  1. Interesting. I was at the home center after striking out at the hardware store yesterday and saw a Code Enforcer in the parking lot. She was busy filling out paperwork next to an SUV. Couldn’t quite figure out what the problem was until the dog in the back started barking at her. She was writing a ticket for leaving a dog in a vehicle. Funny that I thought about the thread a few days back about being left in the car as a kid. Now this.

    I agree that it’s a bad idea to leave a dog in the back of a vehicle with no ventilation, but is it a ticket-worthy event? Will this enforcer’s “disciplinary action” be enough? After all, he killed a fellow officer, not some scofflaw’s pitbull.

    • Sure why not? And it will get fantastic coverage on the nightly news too. Fantastic “optics” and a chance to remind everyone that leaving pets in cars is dangerous and you’re a nazi if you even think about it!


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