(UnitedVoice.com) – Police K9s are often viewed as being just as important as human officers. After all, they put their lives on the line, too. The police who are in charge of handling them often love them as much as they would a pet. Sadly, eight K9 officers were recently lost in a tragic accident in Indiana.
On July 27, a person driving a box truck was transporting 18 German Shepherds from O’Hare International Airport in Chicago to a K-9 training facility in Michigan City, Indiana. The air conditioning system that was in the truck to keep the dogs cool malfunctioned and stopped working while the vehicle was stuck in traffic for two hours. The driver didn’t immediately realize what happened because the cargo hold area was separated from the passenger cabin.
According to a statement by the Lake Station Police Department, some of the dogs began barking, and it alerted the driver to an issue. He stopped the vehicle and opened up the cargo area. Once inside, he said the dogs were distressed. He began removing the crated dogs. Someone called emergency services, which led to “an overwhelming response from both agencies,” and civilians also began stopping to help.
The police department said the scene was emotional for those “trying to save as many canines as possible.” Eight of the dogs died as a result of heat stroke. The department spoke to the driver and determined the incident was an accident.
Jennifer Webber, the director of the Humane Society of Hobart, was not as forgiving. She responded to the scene as well. The Associated Press reported that she was trying to gather information about what happened but was met with resistance. She said the bowls the dogs had for water were small and inadequate. The driver reportedly cussed at her and did not produce the proper health certificates. Webber said she didn’t believe a veterinarian signed off on the transport of the animals because the heat index exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit.
Further, Webber said the police allowed the driver to leave the scene with the dogs and the cargo door open. She explained that he shouldn’t have been traveling with the animals and called it “neglectful.”
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