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Georgia officer suspended after police dog dies in car

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WOODSTOCK, Ga. — A police dog handler was suspended and reassigned to traffic duty after his canine partner died while left in the officer’s patrol car.

Chad Berry, a police officer for the city of Woodstock north of Atlanta, had been a police canine handler for seven years before he found Spartacus, a 3-year-old Belgian Malinois, dead in the car outside his home, Woodstock police Sgt. Randy Millgan said Friday. He said Berry contacted Woodstock police and the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office. A necropsy concluded heat stroke was the probable cause of death.

“Both investigations reveal that, although there was no intent to cause harm to K-9 Spartacus, Officer Berry left Spartacus in his assigned patrol vehicle upon getting home from work and attending to his children,” Milligan told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The delay in removing Spartacus from the vehicle resulted in the canine’s death.”

Berry was suspended for 10 days and fined $325 after being cited for cruelty to animals.

Milligan said the officer would no longer work with dogs and had been reassigned to the department’s traffic unit, a move that will slash his pay about $6,000 a year.

The necropsy performed on Spartacus found the dog had no other injuries or signs of abuse.

Milligan said Spartacus’ death prompted Woodstock police to review the department’s canine policies and adopt additional safeguards to help protect its police dogs.

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CobaltGeorge
138588
Points
CobaltGeorge 07/27/13 - 07:56 pm
5
0

Man,

if that's ain't sad all the way around.

Riverman1
70478
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Riverman1 07/28/13 - 06:34 am
4
0

Break the Window

If I see a dog suffering in a car in the heat, I'm busting out the window police car or not.

seenitB4
72524
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seenitB4 07/28/13 - 06:58 am
3
0

Suspended & taken off K-9 duty

What a shame....the dog is a valuable tool in fighting crime....the man doesn't need to work on K-9...I'm busting the window too!

rmwhitley
5081
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rmwhitley 07/28/13 - 07:44 am
0
0

Have mercy!

Unpublished

That's right here where I live. Didn't find out until I read the Chronicle.

Little Lamb
40104
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Little Lamb 07/28/13 - 08:35 am
2
0

Window

Wouldn't a police dog bite you if you break the window of a patrol car?

curly123053
3196
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curly123053 07/28/13 - 08:58 am
2
0

Sad!

An animal suffering from heat stroke is not likely to be able to bite anybody. Besides most intelligent animals know when someone is trying to help them.

chascushman
6653
Points
chascushman 07/28/13 - 09:41 am
1
0

he should be FIRED

Unpublished

he should be FIRED

GiantsAllDay
8107
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GiantsAllDay 07/28/13 - 10:27 am
1
0

Wait just a minute. It a

Wait just a minute. It a civilian kills a police dog, doesn't that civilian get charged with killing a police officer? Why isn't this cop being charged with killing, or at the very least contributing to the death of a police officer? I was always told that a police dog is not just a dog. Oh, I guess unless you are a cop and harm a police dog then the dog is just a dog. Double standards for cops continues.

Austin Rhodes
2674
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Austin Rhodes 07/28/13 - 06:04 pm
0
0

There is a local officer...

...who killed his police dog by over feeding him. He went away for the weekend, and rather than get the dog an approved handler (the rule) he left him alone at home with a huge bag of food. The dog literally ate himself to death.

At the time...he was fired for the offense. Any guesses where the dude is now?

sewerbabe
67
Points
sewerbabe 07/29/13 - 09:18 am
0
0

to protect and serve!

This is such a tragedy that has befallen this animal. More needs to be done as far as the correct punishment. I am appalled by the slap on the wrist this police officer received. Most police officers I knew who worked K-9 units left the car running and air conditioning on if responding to calls where the dog was not needed. Obviously! This guy probably did not follow that procedure either. Developing the habits and lifestyle called for being a dog handler were never there or he would not have forgotten his "partner" in the car.. This dog was more than likely treated badly by this guy for a very long time. Most don't have the access to the forum Austin Rhodes has to start a discussion on this topic. So go for it......

David Parker
7919
Points
David Parker 07/29/13 - 09:52 am
0
0

My old lab Otis went that way

My old lab Otis went that way after riding along as our truck was stolen. He was found in the cab the next day. The cops arrested the thief but failed to remove the dog from the cab. Another case of everybody figuring somebody else will take care of that little detail.

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