Chief: Police dog was left in car 6 hours, died from heat – Officer found not criminally negligent; no charges to be filed

In this undated photo released by the Columbia, S.C. Police Department, Master Police Officer David Hurt is seen with his police dog "Turbo." Hurt was suspended without pay for five days after Turbo died from excessive heat in July 2018 when the dog was left in a police vehicle for more than six hours. (Columbia, S.C. Police Department via AP)

By JEFFREY COLLINS,  Associated Press  COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) 08/23 — A police dog handler has been suspended without pay for five days but won’t face criminal charges after his dog was left in a police vehicle for more than six hours and died from the South Carolina heat, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said.

Master Police Officer David Hurt had the air conditioning on, but for some unexplained reason turned off a heat alarm and left his windows open July 26. Hurt failed to even come to his vehicle to let the Labrador retriever mix named “Turbo” use the bathroom — behavior that shocked seasoned dog handlers, Holbrook said.

“He didn’t give any logical reason,” Holbrook said at a news conference.

The chief also presented the findings of the internal investigation to prosecutors, who decided that Hurt used terrible judgment but wasn’t criminally negligent and no charges should be filed.

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook talks Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, in Columbia, S.C., about an investigation into the heat-related death of police dog “Turbo” in July. Holbrook said the handler, Master Police Officer David Hurt, violated police policy by leaving the dog alone for six hours and has been suspended without pay for five days. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

 

“It was a mistake of the heart he will have to deal with the rest of his life,” said Holbrook, who added he didn’t fire Hurt because he immediately took responsibility for his grave error.

Hurt also will be suspended from the bomb squad and can never handle a police dog again.

Turbo was the first dog given to Hurt, who was selected to be a handler and went through hundreds of hours of training. The 22-month-old explosive-sniffing dog had been with Hurt for seven months.

Hurt was at a high school July 26, getting active shooter training, and didn’t take the dog inside because of the loud noises and crowd, Holbrook said.

Other handlers also left dogs inside vehicles because they could be needed for a call on a moment’s notice but they all checked on their animals frequently, the chief said.

When Hurt returned to his vehicle at the end of the day, Turbo had white foam around his mouth and was listless. Hurt immediately recognized the dog was suffering from heat stress and took it to a veterinarian. The dog was put to sleep two days later after suffering organ failure, Holbrook said

The high temperature in Columbia that day was 94 degrees (34 Celsius), according to the National Weather Service. Investigators don’t know the temperature in Hurt’s vehicle because he immediately went to the vet, the police chief said.

Hurt accepted the punishment and remains heartbroken at what happened, Holbrook said. He has children who loved the dog.

“It’s like losing a partner or a family member,” the chief said. “It is devastating.”

Holbrook estimated the police department lost about $25,000 in training and other expenses from the dog’s death.

https://www.apnews.com/3c0d877659c04e3b9d8dee2bcb7f389b/Chief:-Police-dog-was-left-in-car-6-hours,-died-from-heat

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

Posted in: Accidents, Deaths, Investigations, K-9, Line-of-Duty Deaths, Negligence, Policies & Practices

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

17 − 16 =

Terms of Use for Posting Comments

Terms of Use

This site (the “Site”) is operated and maintained by Law Enforcement Education Foundation, Corporation (“Company”). Throughout the Site, the terms “we”, “us” and “our” refer to Company.  The words “user,” “you” and “your” as used herein refer to you.

Please read these terms and conditions of use (“Terms of Use”) carefully before contributing content. If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, please do not contribute content. Your use of the Site is subject to the Terms and Conditions found here .

By contributing content to the Site, you represent and warrant that you are at least eighteen (18) years old and that you have read and understand these Terms of Use and any amendments thereto and agree to be bound by them. If you are not at least eighteen (18) years old or you do not agree and accept these Terms of Use, you are prohibited from contributing content.

From time to time, we may permit users to submit content to the Site.  You hereby acknowledge and agree that by submitting remarks, comments, suggestions, ideas, graphics, feedback, edits, concepts, comments, photographs, illustrations and other materials (other than personal information and/or registration information) through the Site (individually and collectively, “Submissions”), you (i) grant us a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, transferable, irrevocable and fully sub-licensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, distribute, publish, create derivative works from and publicly display and perform such Submissions throughout the world in any media, now known or hereafter created, without attribution to you; (ii) grant us the right to pursue at law any person or entity that violates your and/or our rights in your Submissions; and (iii) forever waive any and all of your rights, including but not limited to moral rights, if any, in and to your Submissions, including, without limitation, any all rights or requirements of attribution or identification of you as the author of the Submission or any derivative thereof.  We reserve the right to remove any of your Submissions from the Site, in whole or in part, without notice to you, for any reason or no reason.

Submissions are made voluntarily. Any submissions which include personally identifiable information are subject to our Privacy Policy found here .  You may not upload or otherwise publish content on the Site that (i) is confidential to you or any third party; (ii) is untrue, inaccurate, false or other than an original work of your authorship; (iii) that relates to or impersonates any other person; (iv) violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property rights of any person or entity; (v) contains any content, personally identifiable information or other information, or materials of any kind that relate or refer to any other person or entity other than the provider of the products, goods or services to which the Submission relates; or (vi) violates any law, or in any manner infringes or interferes with the rights of others, including but not limited to the use of names, information, or materials that (A) libel, defame, or invade the privacy of any third party, (B) are obscene or pornographic, (C) are harmful, threatening, offensive, abusive, harassing, vulgar, false or inaccurate, racially, sexually, ethnically or are otherwise objectionable or otherwise contrary to the laws of any place where such Submissions may be accessed; (D) constitute personal attacks on other individuals; (E) promote criminal, immoral or illegal activity; (F) promote or advertise any person, product or service or solicit funds; or (G) are deemed confidential by any contract or policy.

You are solely responsible for any Submissions you make and their accuracy. We take no responsibility and assume no liability for any Submissions posted by you or any third party.

Unless approved by us in writing in advance, you agree not to: (i) provide or create a link to the Site; or (ii) create any frames at any other sites pertaining to any of the content located on the Site.

We reserve the right, in our discretion, to update, change or replace any part of these Terms of Use for Posting Comments by posting updates and/or changes to our Site.  It is your responsibility to check this page periodically for changes.  Your continued use of, and/or access to the Site, following the posting of any changes to these Terms of Use for Posting Comments, constitutes your acceptance of those changes.